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.

Toxic Ten: The Allegheny County Polluters That Are Fouling Our Air and Threatening Our Health

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)
Dangerous and Close: Fracking Near Pennsylvania's Most Vulnerable Residents

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: The Changing Geography of Poverty

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 Failures: Oil and Gas Industry Environmental Violations in Pennsylvania and What They Mean for the U.S.

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)
Weak Medicine: Why the FDA's Guidelines Are Inadequate to Curb Antibiotic Resistance and Protect Public Health

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)
Fracking by the Numbers: Key Impacts of Dirty Drilling at the State and National Level

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)
The Spreading Shadow of the Shale Gas Boom: Fracking's Growing Proximity to Day Cares, Schools and Hospitals

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)
The Zero Waste Solution: How 21st Century Recycling and Trash Reduction Can Protect Public Health and Boost Connecticut's Economy

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.


(June 2013)
Green Chemistry at Work 2: California Businesses Making 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. 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)
The Costs of Fracking: The Price Tag of Dirty Drilling's Environmental Damage

The negative environmental and health impacts of fracking for oil and gas come with  heavy “dollars and cents” costs,  ranging from cleaning up contaminated water to repairing ruined roads. The experience of previous fossil fuel booms suggests that many of these costs will wind up being borne by the public. The Costs of Fracking highlights the many ways in which oil and gas production using hydraulic fracturing affects the environment, public health and our communities, and calls for steps to ensure that the oil and gas industry is held financially accountable for the damage it causes.

(September 2012)
What Offshore Wind Means for Maryland: Environmental, Economic and Public Health Benefits Across the State

Maryland has abundant potential for generating electricity from wind by deploying offshore wind farms. What Offshore Wind Means for Maryland explains how investing in offshore wind would provide cleaner air and foster a more vibrant economy for all regions of Maryland, while helping to protect healthy ecosystems for future generations of Marylanders.

(March 2012)
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)