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E-M:/ Exposure of Students to Air Emissions from CAFOs

while the study below is from north carolina, it might be relevant for michigan also . . .
craig k harris
department of sociology
michigan agricultural experiment station
national food safety and toxicology center
institute for food and agricultural standards
michigan state university
Environmental Health Perspectives Volume 114, Number 4, April 2006
Race, Poverty, and Potential Exposure of Middle-School Students to Air Emissions from Confined Swine Feeding Operations

Maria C. Mirabelli,1 Steve Wing,1 Stephen W. Marshall,1,2,3 and Timothy C. Wilcosky1,4

1Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, 2University of North Carolina Injury Prevention Research Center, and 3Department of Orthopedics, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; 4Environmental Health and Epidemiology Program, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA

Previous studies suggest that airborne effluent from swine confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) may affect the health and quality of life of adults and the prevalence of asthma symptoms among children. To investigate the extent to which public school students may be exposed to airborne effluent from swine CAFOs and to evaluate the association between schools’ demographic characteristics and swine CAFO exposures, we assessed the proximity of 226 schools to the nearest swine CAFO and conducted a survey of school employees to identify schools with noticeable livestock odor. We used publicly available information describing the enrollment of each school to assess the association between race and socioeconomic status (SES) and swine CAFO exposure. Odor from livestock was noticeable outside (n = 47, 21%) and inside (n = 19, 8%) school buildings. Schools with < 63% enrollment of white students and ≥ 47% of students receiving subsidized lunches at school were located closer to swine CAFOs (mean = 4.9 miles) than were the remaining schools (mean = 10.8 miles) and were more likely to be located within 3 miles of an operation than were schools with high-white/high-SES enrollment (prevalence ratio = 2.63; 95% confidence interval, 1.59-4.33). The prevalence of reported livestock odor varied with SES (low SES, 25%; high SES, 17%). These analyses indicate that the potential for in-school exposure to pollution arising from swine CAFOs in North Carolina and the environmental health risks associated with such exposures vary according to the racial and economic characteristics of enrolled students. Key words: adolescent health, children’s health, confined swine feeding, environmental epidemiology, environmental justice, industrial hog operations, school health. Environ Health Perspect 114: 591-596 (2006). doi:10.1289/ehp.8586 available via http://dx.doi.org/ [Online 10 November 2005]

Address correspondence to M. Mirabelli, Respiratory and Environmental Health Research Unit, Municipal Institute of Medical Research (IMIM), 80 Barcelona 08003 Spain. Telephone: +34-932-211-009 (x-2600). Fax: +34-932-216-448. E-mail: mmirabelli@imim.es

Funding for this research was provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (1R01HL073113), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (2R25ES008206), and the American Lung Association (LH007N).

The authors declare they have no competing financial interests.

Received 13 August 2005; accepted 9 November 2005.