Reports on Public Health

The reports below represent a sample of Frontier Group’s work on Public Health. For more of our reports on this and related topics, please visit Full archive coming soon.

Fukushima: One Year Later

The Fukushima Daiichi disaster raised fresh concerns about the safety of America’s nuclear power plants and the wisdom of building new nuclear power plants in the United States. One year after the deadly earthquake and tsunami that spawned the meltdowns at Fukushima, new information continues to emerge about the events that took place at Fukushima and the implications for the people of Japan and the future of nuclear power. Fukushima: One Year Later provides an update on the situation at Fukushima on the first anniversary of the disaster.

(March 2012)
In the Path of the Storm: Global Warming, Extreme Weather, and the Impacts of Weather-Related Disasters in the United States

Weather disasters kill or injure hundreds of Americans each year and cause billions of dollars in economic damage. The risks posed by some types of weather-related disasters will likely increase in a warming world. In the Path of the Storm finds that roughly four out of five Americans live in counties that have experienced weather-related disasters since 2006 and calls for action to reduce the threat of extreme weather fueled by global warming.

(February 2012)
America's Biggest Mercury Polluters: How Cleaning Up the Dirtiest Power Plants Will Protect Public Health

Power plants continue to release large amounts of toxic pollutants, including mercury, into our air. Mercury pollution particularly threatens fetuses and infants, who can suffer irreversible brain damage due to mercury exposure. This report ranks U.S. power plants by 2010 mercury emissions, and makes the case for new toxic pollution standards the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will finalize in December to protect public health.

(November 2011)
America's Emerging Clean Energy Capital: How Houston Can Lead the Nation to a New Energy Future


In recent years, Houston has emerged as a nationwide leader in expanding its production and use of clean energy. The City of Houston has adopted strong, energy-saving building codes, ramped up purchases of renewable energy, and begun laying the groundwork for widespread adoption of electric cars – all steps that have jump-started the area’s transition toward a clean energy economy. However, Houston still has a great deal of untapped potential to save energy and avoid pollution. This report illustrates how Houston can build on its current momentum through a number of clean energy technologies, including net-zero energy home construction, rooftop solar installations and electric vehicles (EVs).

(November 2011)
A Smart Solution: EmPOWER Maryland Is Saving Energy, Saving Money, and Boosting Our Economy

Maryland electricity consumers are beginning to reap the benefits of the state’s ambitious efforts to improve energy efficiency and measures to cut peak demand. Consumers are saving money and avoiding paying for expensive new infrastructure projects, while employers have been able to increase their competitiveness and hire new staff. A Smart Solution documents these benefits, and makes recommendations on how to further strengthen efficiency measures so that the state achieves the goals of EmPOWER Maryland.

(October 2011)
Grand Canyon at Risk: Uranium Mining Doesn't Belong Near Our National Treasures

Uranium mining is an industry with a bad track record. At sites ranging from a giant tailings pile next to the Colorado River near Moab, Utah, to old mines near the Grand Canyon, the industry has left radioactive contamination behind it. Opening land near the Grand Canyon to uranium exploration would threaten one of our most valuable national places, and imperil the drinking water of 25 million downstream residents.

(August 2011)
In the Shadow of the Marcellus Boom: How Shale Gas Extraction Puts Vulnerable Pennsylvanians at Risk

From Pittsburgh to Scranton, gas companies have already drilled more than 3,000 hydraulic fracturing wells, and the state has issued permits for thousands more. Permitted well sites exist within two miles of more than 320 day care facilities, 67 schools and nine hospitals statewide.

(May 2011)
Growing Up Toxic: Chemical Exposures and Increases in Developmental Disease

A growing body of scientific evidence shows that the widespread use of chemicals in our society harms our health and the health of our children. In this report, we tell the story of the insidious impact of toxic chemicals, from the plastic ingredient bisphenol A to pesticides, drawing on evidence from more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers. The United States should remove the most dangerous substances from commerce and require manufacturers to ensure that the chemicals used in everyday products are safe for our families and our communities.

(April 2011)
The Way Forward on Global Warming: Reducing Carbon Pollution Today and Restoring Momentum for Tomorrow by Promoting Clean Energy

Humanity is running out of time to stop the most dangerous impacts of global warming. But there is still hope. The Way Forward on Global Warming provides a substantive and strategic roadmap for rejuvenating the climate protection movement and achieving concrete reductions in global warming pollution through the pursuit of clean energy policies, mainly at the local and state levels.

(April 2011)
Unacceptable Risk: Two Decades of "Close Calls," Leaks and Other Problems at U.S. Nuclear Reactors

As the eyes of the world have focused on the nuclear crisis in Fukushima, Japan, Americans have begun to raise questions about the safety of nuclear power plants in the United States. American nuclear power plants are not immune to the types of natural disasters, mechanical failures, human errors, and losses of critical electric power supplies that have characterized major nuclear accidents such as the one at Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan. Indeed, at several points over the last 20 years, American nuclear power plants have experienced “close calls” that could have led to damage to the reactor core and the subsequent release of large amounts of radiation.

(March 2011)
Safer by Design: Businesses Can Replace Toxic Ingredients through Green Chemistry

The widespread use of toxic chemicals – in everything from industrial plants to baby bottles – is threatening our health and environment. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This report highlights 14 businesses that are identifying unnecessary hazards in their facilities, in their manufacturing processes and in the products they sell – and acting to eliminate them. In the process, these businesses are creating green jobs and strengthening the economy. Stronger policies can do more to promote the invention and deployment of innovations that are “safer by design,” protecting our environment and our health while helping U.S. industries to thrive in the 21st century.

(February 2011)
Clean Cars in California: Four Decades of Progress in the Unfinished Battle to Clean Up Our Air

California’s efforts to reduce air pollution from cars and trucks have made the state’s air cleaner than it has been in decades – and Californians are healthier as a result. Clean car standards have helped cut total automobile air pollution in California by more than 85 percent since 1975, despite rapid growth in population and vehicle travel. However, many Californians are still exposed to some of the worst air pollution in the United States – contributing to high asthma rates and shortened life spans. To continue progress and protect Americans’ health, state officials should update California’s vehicle emission standards to make sure that new cars are as clean as possible.

(November 2010)
Green Chemistry at Work: Leading California Businesses Demonstrate How to Make Products Safe from the Start

Leading California businesses are showing that consumer products don’t have to contain toxic chemicals, threaten public health, or produce large amounts of waste in order to work. These businesses are making California healthier and wealthier by designing products to be safe from the start, following the principles of green chemistry. This report highlights 12 Golden State businesses or institutions that are identifying unnecessary hazards in their facilities, in their manufacturing processes and in the products they sell – and acting to eliminate them. In the process, these pioneers are demonstrating how a strong state-wide green chemistry policy can give birth to a new way of doing business – benefiting the people of California and setting an example for the nation as a whole.

(March 2010)
The High Cost of Fossil Fuels: Why Americans Can't Afford to Depend on Dirty Energy

America’s dependence on fossil fuels is costly – both in terms of up-front costs and in the negative economic and environmental side-effects of fossil fuel use. Fossil fuels cost the United States billions of dollars each year, and nationwide spending could total as much as $30 trillion between 2010 and 2030. Secondary impacts from our fossil fuel use, such as global warming, air pollution and fossil fuel-related disasters like oil spills, also inflict billions of dollars of expense on our economy. Instead of paying to maintain our costly status quo, the United States should invest in a clean energy future.

(June 2009)
Going Smoke Free: Good for the Public’s Health and Safe for the Bottom Line

There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, the third leading cause of preventable death in America. In 2005, the state of Georgia enacted a smoke-free workplace policy to protect public health. However, Georgia’s law allows smoking to continue in bars and restaurants that do not serve minors under 18 – primarily because of concerns that smoking restrictions would drive customers away. However, Going Smoke Free shows that smoke-free laws have no negative effect on business at bars and restaurants — and in some cases even help.

(October 2009)