Health impacts of air pollution/stench from CAFOs are a significant concern to people forced to live in stinking distance of these facilities. Now a study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, published in Environmental Health Perspectives (Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 113, Number 2, February 2005 see article at EHP 113:137-142 ) bolsters the cause for concern among the victims of air pollutants from CAFOs and those who care for and about them:
“The researchers conclude that exposure to airborne bacteria from a CAFO presents a potential pathway for transferring antibiotic-resistant bacteria from animals to humans. CAFO workers and the people with whom they come in direct contact, as well as neighbors near the operations and areas of land where animal wastes are applied, may be especially at risk. Continuing research of the transfer of antibiotic-resistant bacteria from animals to humans needs to encompass a variety of environmental media that may serve as exposure sources.” (Airborne Bacteria in CAFOs: Transfer of Resistance from Animals to Humans, EHP, February 2005)
But maybe you should hold your breath, if you live near a CAFO, because of the Bush Administration’s decision to give CAFO operators immunity from prosecution for air pollution problems from CAFOs if they “buy in” to an indefinite “study” of the air pollution problems from CAFOs, and because Michigan’s air pollution law preventing the MDEQ from enforcing nuisance prohibitions against CAFOs until and unless the MDA Director makes a air quality referral to the MDEQ.
Anne Woiwode, Director, Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter
517-484-2372, fax 517-484-3108 www.michigan.sierraclub.org