PSR-LA was founded in 1980 as a local affiliate of the national organization, Physicians for Social Responsibility. In the 1960s, the national group PSR helped end atmospheric nuclear testing by documenting the presence of strontium 90 – a radioactive by-product of nuclear testing – in children’s teeth. In the following two decades, PSR’s efforts to educate the public about the dangers of nuclear war and weapons grew into an international movement, with the founding of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), PSR was the American recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to IPPNW 1985.
Our early work was guided by a singular mission to reduce threats to public health related to nuclear weapons. In 1989, the Los Angeles office was the first PSR chapter to broaden its public health mission to include environmental threats as well. In 1993, we added a program to reduce urban violence. Since then, we have grown to be the largest chapter in the nation and continue to play a leading role in national, state and local education and policy efforts.