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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

  • 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 »

  • Clean Water Rule Fact Sheet

    The Clean Water Rule (CWR) protects the nation's rain-dependent streams and wetlands from toxic pollution under the Clean Water Act. Read more »

  • Nuclear Weapons Community Cost Calculator

    Each April, Dr. Bob Dodge, PSR-LA Board Member and co-founder of Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions, calculates the cost of nuclear weapons programs to our communities. See what the costs are in your community. Read more »

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