Oregon PSR's Environmental Health Program seeks to educate health care professionals and the public about the health threats posed by exposure to environmental toxics and how to protect ourselves and our communities.
We are exposed to environmental toxics in our food, water, the air we breathe, and the consumer products we use every day. For some of these chemicals, such as lead and mercury, there is no known threshold of "safe" exposure, while for others we lack even basic information about risks of exposure.
Healthcare providers are uniquely positioned to identify potential exposures to toxic chemicals, help patients avoid exposures, and advocate for changing environmental health policy. However, most professionals have little or no scientific education about the impacts of toxic substances on human health, and have little experience communicating these issues to individual patients or the community. Providers need education about these health threats, clinical materials to provide anticipatory and preventive guidance to their patients, and policy recommendations to communicate the need for fundamental reform of chemicals policy for primary prevention of toxic exposures.