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 www.PolicyArchive.org. Full archive coming soon.

Toxic Baby Furniture: The Latest Case for Making Products Safe from the Start

Furnishings containing formaldehyde – a toxic chemical linked with allergies, asthma and cancer – can contaminate indoor air. Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to harm. To evaluate the potential dangers children face, Environment California Research & Policy Center tested 21 products intended for use in a baby’s nursery, and found that six of the products produced high levels of formaldehyde vapor. In particular, several brands of cribs and changing tables emit formaldehyde at levels linked with increased risk of developing allergies or asthma.

(May 2008)
Unnecessary Hazards: How Safer Alternatives Can Reduce Our Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

Connecticut citizens are exposed to thousands of harmful toxic chemicals in the course of daily life. However, unlike pharmaceutical drugs, most of these chemicals have not been tested for safety. Unnecessary Hazards explores 10 types of chemicals that contaminate Connecticut’s homes and environment and put our health at risk. The report concludes that, for each type of chemical, safer alternatives exist. Moreover, they can be implemented at minimal cost, or even net savings. By requiring the use of safer alternatives for dangerous chemicals found in commerce, Connecticut can protect its environment, workers, and families – without harming the strength of Connecticut’s business and industry community.

(February 2007)
The Politics of Rocket Fuel Pollution: The Perchlorate Study Group and Its Industry Backers

California state agencies have discovered perchlorate—the main ingredient in solid rocket fuel—contaminating almost 400 water sources since 1997, including the Colorado River and hundreds of municipal wells. In 1992 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took the first steps toward requiring cleanup of perchlorate from drinking water. In response, a group of manufacturers and users of rocket fuel joined to form the Perchlorate Study Group with the stated intention of helping EPA by providing scientific information. However, documents from the internal files of participants in the Perchlorate Study Group reveal that, much like the tobacco industry, these companies paid millions of dollars to fund misleading research and millions more to influence the scientific and public debate, aiming to weaken regulations and reduce liability.

(December 2006)
Cars and Cancer: Toxic Pollution from Cars and Trucks in Maryland

Despite modest improvements in Maryland’s air quality over the last several decades, the cancer risk from air toxics is still 40 times higher for Marylanders than the federal standard. Data published in 2006 by the EPA shows that two-thirds of the cancer risk comes from mobile sources such as cars and trucks. Cars and Cancer highlights the cancer risk by Maryland counties and recommends adoption of tougher car emission standards as part of the solution to the problem.

(December 2006)
Mercury Pollution in Maryland: A Comprehensive Look at Contamination of Fish in Local Waterways

Maryland newborns and children each year. Mercury Pollution in Maryland presents an analysis of data from nearly 2,000 fish tested by state agencies; 59 percent of the fish contained enough mercury to present a potential health risk. Though Maryland has already established limits on mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants and banned mercury-containing thermostats, the state must do more to protect citizens from mercury by ending medical and municipal waste incineration and collecting mercury-based products.

(April 2006)

Air pollution takes a significant toll on human health in North Carolina every year, shortening thousands of lives and sending thousands of people to area hospitals. Air Pollution and Public Health in North Carolina estimates the number of premature deaths, hospital admissions, asthma attacks, missed work days and other health consequences of air pollution in the state, recommending a series of steps toward cleaner air.

(February 2006)

Air pollution, mercury-tainted fish, peeling lead, pesticides and other commonly used toxic chemicals threaten the health of Maryland’s children. Though there are many powerful policies available for the state to use in reducing pollution, Maryland has adopted only a few of them. Maryland Children’s Environmental Health Report Card examines the most common environmental threats to children’s health and evaluate and grades Maryland’s response to these problems.

(December 2005)
Ready to Roll: The Benefits of Today's Advanced-Technology Vehicles for Washington

Despite tighter automobile emission standards over the past three decades, many states continue to face significant automobile-related air pollution problems. Ready to Roll: The Benefits of Today’s Advanced-Technology Vehicles for Washington outlines how the use of advanced-technology vehicles—those that use cleaner, alternative fuels or new technological advances to achieve dramatically improved environmental performance—could alleviate air pollution problems while reducing global warming emissions and enhancing the state’s energy security. The report also documents that, although advanced technology vehicles are “ready to roll,” availability of these vehicles is limited in states that have not yet adopted the California Clean Car Standards.

(December 2005)
Ready to Roll: The Benefits of Today's Advanced Technology Vehicles for Oregon

Despite tighter automobile emission standards over the past three decades, many states continue to face significant automobile-related air pollution problems. <i>Ready to Roll: The Benefits of Today’s Advanced-Technology Vehicles for Oregon</i> outlines how the use of advanced-technology vehicles—those that use cleaner, alternative fuels or new technological advances to achieve dramatically improved environmental performance—could alleviate air pollution problems while reducing global warming emissions and enhancing the state’s energy security. The report also documents that, although advanced technology vehicles are “ready to roll,” availability of these vehicles is limited in states that have not yet adopted the California Clean Car Standards.

(November 2005)
Perchlorate and Children's Health: The Case for a Strong Cleanup Standard for Rocket Fuel in Drinking Water

Perchlorate, the primary ingredient in solid rocket fuel, contaminates much of California’s food and water supply. In an attempt to limit liability for causing the pollution, perchlorate manufacturers and users have attempted to focus the health debate around the needs of healthy adults. But the real threat of perchlorate is to the health and development of young children, as explained in Perchlorate and Children’s Health. Exposure to small amounts of perchlorate—whether in the womb or during the sensitive first few years of life—has the potential to set children back in their mental development.

(January 2005)
Ready to Roll: The Benefits of Today's Advanced Technology Vehicles for Maine

Despite tighter automobile emission standards over the past three decades, many states continue to face significant automobile-related air pollution problems. <i>Ready to Roll: The Benefits of Today’s Advanced-Technology Vehicles for Maine</i> outlines how the use of advanced-technology vehicles—those that use cleaner, alternative fuels or new technological advances to achieve dramatically improved environmental performance—could alleviate air pollution problems while reducing global warming emissions and enhancing the state’s energy security. The report also documents that, although advanced technology vehicles are “ready to roll,” availability of these vehicles is limited in states that have not yet adopted the California Clean Car Standards.

(March 2005)
Cleaner Cars, Cleaner Air: How Low-Emission Vehicle Standards Can Cut Air Pollution in Maryland

Air pollution—including that from light-duty cars and trucks—poses a major public health threat in Maryland. Cleaner Cars, Cleaner Air presents the results of emissions modeling that calculates how much emissions of smog-forming and toxic pollutants could be reduced if Maryland adopted more stringent vehicle emission standards.

(March 2005)
Medical Waste in Maryland: Alternatives to Incineration

Maryland’s hospitals and health care facilities annually classify more than 35,000 tons of waste as regulated medical waste that must be sterilized before disposal. Incineration of this waste releases pollution such as mercury and dioxin that imperils public health. Medical Waste in Maryland: Alternatives to Incineration explores opportunities for hospitals to reduce the amount of medical waste they generation and alternatives to burning waste, such as autoclaves and specialized microwaves.

(December 2004)
Clean Air for California: Cutting Health-Threatening Air Pollution 50% by 2010

Despite progress made over the past several decades, California continues to have the worst air quality in the nation. During his campaign for governor in 2003, Governor Schwarzenegger made a bold promise to clean up California’s air, committing to reduce health-threatening air pollution by 50 percent by 2010. Clean Air for California: Cutting Health-Threatening Air Pollution 50% by 2010 provides an assessment of programs currently in place, while making the case that achieving 50 percent reductions in air pollution will be impossible without substantial new commitments to clean air programs. This report also suggests further action the state could take to reach the Governor’s goals.

(August 2004)
Ready to Roll: The Benefits of Today's Advanced-Technology Vehicles for Maryland

Despite tighter automobile emission standards over the past three decades, many states continue to face significant automobile-related air pollution problems. <i>Ready to Roll: The Benefits of Today’s Advanced-Technology Vehicles for Maryland</i> outlines how the use of advanced-technology vehicles—those that use cleaner, alternative fuels or new technological advances to achieve dramatically improved environmental performance—could alleviate air pollution problems while reducing global warming emissions and enhancing the state’s energy security. The report also documents that, although advanced technology vehicles are “ready to roll,” availability of these vehicles is limited in states that have not yet adopted the California Clean Car Standards.

(July 2004)

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