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As 2017 draws to a close, we look at the world and see threats that many of us might have thought unimaginable even a year ago:
The real possibility of nuclear war.
The U.S. withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation.
The potential opening of a portion of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Reserve for drilling.
The appointment of Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA, an individual that the New York Times recently reported has built his political career by attacking clean-air and clean-water rules.
And closer to home here in Texas, developments are no less shocking:
Failure of any bills aimed at addressing lead in drinking water at Texas schools to pass in the Texas Legislature, including one to require lead testing at schools.
The increasing scale, pace and intensity of shale fracking, resulting in toxic air pollution, depleted and contaminated water sources, earthquakes, traffic accidents, soil erosion and greenhouse gas emissions.
Toxic waste spills from Superfund sites in Houston following Hurricane Harvey.
Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility is committed to protecting Texans from these and other threats to health through education, analysis, and expert testimony on key issues such as climate change, food systems, toxics, and nuclear weapons. Guided by physicians and other public health professionals, Texas PSR is dedicated to bringing health expertise into public conversations about environmental policy and practice. With scientific expertise in public health and a scientific understanding of environmental factors, Texas PSR is uniquely suited to work at the intersection of both.
In 2017 we created an Instructor Guide (English and Spanish) for replication of our Toxic Free Child Program (also available on our website), distributed cleaning supplies recipe cards and refrigerator magnets for the more than 200 low-income women that participated in our education programs and supported the policy positions of organizations that advocate for sensible gun legislation, antibiotics awareness and reduction of shale fracking. The July-August issue of the Travis County Medical Society Journal featured an article about Texas PSR’s Toxic-Free Child program.
Please support our important work. We are poised to grow and to have greater impact than ever at a time when Texas and Texans need it most.
Thank you. We look forward to keeping you informed and engaged as we work together to make Texas and Texans healthy and safe.
Steve McKee, MSSW, Director