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Heat Advisory: Protecting Health on a Warming Planet
by Dr. Alan Lockwood

Drawing on peer-reviewed scientific and medical research, Dr. Lockwood meticulously details the symptoms of climate change and their medical side effects.

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PSR briefs Senate on dangers from coal ash; petition signed by 850 health professionals

April 26, 2012

PSR doctors, flying in to Washington from six states, presented the Obama Administration with a petition signed by 850 health professionals voicing their concern about the toxic dangers posed by unregulated coal ash disposal.

Petition signers urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to release a health-protective coal ash rule as soon as possible.  After introducing a draft rule almost two years ago, the EPA is still working on a rule to determine safe disposal practices based on the best available science and the comments of more than 450,000 Americans.

Coal ash, the waste that remains when coal is burned, contains dangerous quantities of arsenic, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium and other toxic metals. Improper coal ash disposal has resulted in catastrophic disasters like the Tennessee Valley Authority spill in December 2008 and has been linked to 189 cases of water contamination in 35 states.

The PSR delegation presented the petition personally to the EPA and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality.  In addition Terrence P. Clark, M.D., president of Western North Carolina PSR; Maureen McCue, M.D., PhD, president of Iowa PSR; and Ronald Saff, M.D., representing Tampa Bay (FL) PSR briefed the Senate on the public health dangers that leaking, leaching and blowing coal ash poses to their communities.

  • In Iowa, coal ash dumps have polluted the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers with coal ash contaminants under the force of heavy rains and devastating flooding.
  • In Florida, groundwater is being contaminated – in one case, for over 20 years.
  • North Carolina has had to restrict fish consumption in the face of coal ash pollution of lakes and reservoirs.

Also participating in these events and meeting with their senators were John Rachow, PhD MD, of Iowa PSR; Robert Little, MD, of Harrisburg PSR; Pouné Saberi , MD, of Philadelphia PSR; William Sammons, MD, of Massachusetts and Yolanda Whyte, MD, of Atlanta.

Action Alerts

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Resources

  • Webinar: Health Risks of Nuclear Power

    As PSR chapters promote the transition to clean renewable energy, some are finding that nuclear power is being proposed as renewable. This webinar explores exactly why nuclear is not clean, not safe and not renewable. Read more »

  • Fracking Compendium 5 Water Excerpt

    Given the timely and important consideration of the issue by state officials in Florida, Physicians for Social Responsibility, along with Concerned Health Professionals of New York, has released excerpts from the upcoming Fifth Edition of the Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking. Released in Miami in advance of the full report, this new document contains an up-to-date analysis and compilation of the science on water contamination risks from drilling, fracking, and associated activities. Read more »

  • Natural Gas: Not a healthy or climate-protective solution for the Clean Power Plan

    Building natural gas plants to replace coal-fired power is not a solution to the climate crisis; it merely replaces one fossil fuel with another. Read more »

In the Spotlight

  • April 28, 2018
    2018 Greenfield Peace Writing Scholarship Awards Ceremony
    Join Oregon PSR to celebrate the high school student winners of this year's scholarship. Featuring keynote speaker Marshallese anti-nuclear and climate activist and poet Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner. April 28 at 6 pm in Portland, Oregon.