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.

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)
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)