Where in KAFP should environmental health issues be discussed?
I would like to report to KAFP on –
1) the October meeting of KMA’s Public Education Committee, which will discuss the resolution “Coal’s Impact on the Health of Kentuckians and Their Environment” which passed the 2011 KMA House of Delegates.
2) the Greater Louisville Medical Society’s newly created Environmental Medicine committee.
3) other environmental health issues receiving major attention nationally among public health experts and consumer advocacy groups

AAFP Policy currently includes the following-
Climate Change and Air Pollution-
In recognition of the numerous and serious adverse health consequences resulting from pollution, climate change and ozone layer depletion, the AAFP recommends strong action on all public and private levels to limit and correct the pollution of our land, atmosphere and water. (1969) (2010 COD)
Both the American Medical Association and the American Public Health Association have called for a greater regulatory response to protect the public from the death and disability resulting from respiratory illnesses, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, birth defects,  and mental retardation resulting from Coal Fired Power Plant’s pollution


1.   Lockwood AH, Welker-Hood K, Rauch M, Gottlieb B. Coal’s Assault on Human Health— A Report from Physicians for Social Responsibility. 2010.

2.   Laumbach RJ. Outdoor air pollution and patient health, Am Fam Physician. 2010;81(2):175-180,181-182.

3.   Dirty Air, Dirty Power: Mortality and Health Damage Due to Air Pollution from Power Plants.  Clear the Air. June 2004.

4.   The Clean Air Act—A Proven Tool for Healthy Air (A Report from Physicians for Social Responsibility) May 2011.

5.   Hitt N, Hendryx M. Ecological integrity of streams related to human cancer mortality rates, Eco Health. 2010;7:91-104.

6.   Ahern MM, et al. The association between mountaintop mining and birth defects among live births in central Appalachia 1996- 2003. Env Res. 20.

7.   Zullig K, Hendryx M. Health- related quality of life among central Appalachian residents in mountaintop mining counties. Amer J Public Health. 2011;101(5).

8.   Epstein P R,  Buonocore J J,  et al. Full Cost accounting for the life cycle of coal. Ann NY Acad Sci. February 2011:73-98. Available through the Wiley Online Library at Vol. 1219, Ecological Economics Reviews.

9.   Mining Coal, Mounting Costs- The Life Cycle Consequences of Coal. Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School; Feb 17, 2011.

10.     Hendryx M, Ahern M. Mortality in Appalachian coal mining regions: the value of statistical life lost. Public Health Reports, 2009;124:541-550.

11. Confronting Health Issues of Climate Change. (Editorial). American Medical News, April 11, 2011.

12. Lasker RD, and the Committee on Medicine and Public Health. Medicine & Public Health:The Power of Collaboration. New York: The New York Academy of Medicine. 1997. The monograph is also available on the Internet at http://www.nyam.org/pubhlth.


John A. Patterson MD, MSPH, FAAFP