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.
The U.S. produces immense amounts of trash. Currently, we extract natural resources to make products that we buy, use – usually briefly – and ultimately throw out. Most of these materials are dumped in landfills or burned in incinerators, creating pollution that threatens our health, environment and global climate.
Trash in America: Moving From Destructive Consumption to a Zero-Waste System lays out the details of this system, examples of communities implementing a better one, and the path to a sustainable, zero-waste economy.(February 2018)
Agriculture in the U.S. is dominated by large, specialized crop and animal farms. These industrial farms prioritize short-term productivity without regard to harmful impacts on the environment, public health or long-term agricultural production. Federal farm policies encourage this damaging approach to agriculture. Changes to key public policies can help shift how our food system operates, and better protect public health, the environment, and the future of farming.(February 2018)
Complete Streets – streets designed for all road users, including people on foot, on bike or taking transit – can help address transportation and public health problems in St. Petersburg.(May 2017)
Despite decades of progress under the Clean Air Act, Americans across the country continue to breathe unhealthy air, leading to increased risk of premature death, asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts.(April 2017)
Oil and gas companies are fracking near our communities, polluting our air and water, and risking the health of our children and other vulnerable populations. Dangerous and Close documents how many thousands of day cares and schools and hundreds of hospitals and nursing homes are close to fracked wells in nine states.(October 2016)
Residents of the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, which includes Pittsburgh, suffer from among the worst air quality in the nation. For example, the county ranks in the top 0.3 percent of all counties in the U.S. for cancer risk from air pollutants discharged from point-source facilities. Toxic Ten: The Allegheny County Polluters That Are Fouling Our Air and Threatening Our Health profiles the top 10 emitters of toxic industrial air pollution in Allegheny County. The facilities are ranked by the relative toxicity of the air pollution they reported releasing in 2013, according to EPA data.(October 2015)
Since 2007, more than 9,000 wells employing fracking have been drilled in Pennsylvania - many of them in close proximity to schools, day care facilities, hospitals and nursing homes. Dangerous and Close tracks the spread of fracking ever closer to Pennsylvania's most vulnerable residents and details the environmental and health threats fracking poses to Pennsylvanians.(October 2015)
Childhood Hunger in America’s Suburbs shows the changing geography of childhood hunger at a time of growing suburban poverty. This report demonstrates that the risk of childhood hunger is an issue affecting nearly every American community, including communities that might otherwise think that hunger is a problem that occurs “somewhere else.”(September 2015)
Fracking harms the environment and human health. Even when fracking companies follow the rules, it’s a dirty, dangerous industry. But they regularly break the rules, increasing the damage. Fracking Failures: Oil and Gas Industry Environmental Violations in Pennsylvania and What They Mean for the U.S. documents fracking violations in Pennsylvania, showing that all types of fracking companies are offenders: big multinationals, small, locally-owned firms, and even companies that promise to exceed safety standards. (1/27/15)(January 2015)
Livestock often are fed antibiotics so that they grow faster with less feed and can remain healthy in the unsanitary, disease-laden conditions common on factory farms, despite the fact that this overuse of antibiotics contributes to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause 23,000 deaths each year. In response, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked pharmaceutical companies to voluntarily stop the sale of antibiotics to farms for animal “growth promotion.” Weak Medicine explains why the FDA’s action is unlikely to put a serious dent in antibiotic use on factory farms. Without a reduction in the antibiotics fed to livestock, the development and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria will not slow down.(August 2014)
Childhood Hunger in America's Suburbs shows that eligibility for free and reduced-price lunches rose across the nation between 2006-07 and 2010-11, and rose faster in suburban areas than in urban, rural, or town communities. Suburban public schools still have a lower percentage of students eligible for free and reduced-price lunches than schools in the rest of the country. But the rise of child poverty in suburban areas means that suburbs increasingly look like the rest of America when it comes to the prevalence of poor children.This knowledge should be included in policy discussions about how to address the interrelated problems of hunger and poverty in America.(August 2014)
Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies—hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—in a highly polluting effort to unlock oil and gas in underground rock formations. Fracking is already underway in 17 states, with more than 80,000 wells drilled or permitted since 2005. Fracking by the Numbers quantifies some of the key impacts of fracking to date—including the production of toxic wastewater, water use, chemicals use, air pollution, land damage and global warming emissions.(October 2013)
Using “fracking,” gas companies are drilling near our communities, polluting our air and water and risking the health of our children and other vulnerable populations. Gas companies have already drilled and fractured more than 10,000 wells in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations, which extend beneath much of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, West Virginia and western Maryland, and states are issuing permits for thousands more. The Spreading Shadow of the Shale Gas Boom documents that, in this five-state region, permitted well sites exist within one mile of more than 400 day care facilities, schools and hospitals.(September 2013)
Connecticut burns more of its waste than any other state in the country, generating more than half a million tons of toxic ash every year and threatening public health. Fortunately, nearly all of our trash could be reused or recycled, and policymakers can greatly increase recycling and keep trash out of incinerators and landfills by doing simple things like enforcing recycling laws already on the books, updating the Bottle Bill, and eliminating wasteful packaging. These and other common-sense policies will save money and help the state transition to a “zero waste” future.
Leading California businesses are showing that consumer products don’t have to contain toxic chemicals, threaten public health, or produce large amounts of waste. Safer alternatives exist, and they work. Companies that design their products to be safe from the start are seizing new business opportunities, gaining access to new markets, improving efficiency, and saving money—all of which gives them an edge over their competitors. These businesses are also building momentum for a new green chemistry industry in California.(February 2013)