FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ENVIRONMENTALLY CONCERNED CITIZENS OF SOUTH CENTRAL MICHIGAN
For more information, contact: John Klein, President, ECCSCM 517-383-2261
or Janet Kauffman 517-448-4973
Citizens' Group Posts Manure Emissions Log
For Reporting Health Concerns
HUDSON -- In response to health complaints from manure emissions, Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan (ECCSCM) has published both a print and online Manure Emissions Incident Log for reporting health concerns. People living near large livestock facilities, near manure lagoons or slurries, or near fields where liquid manure is sprayed, can now report their health symptoms and detail the incident, the location, the length of exposure.
ECCSCM will compile a database of these reports, listed anonymously, to inform policy makers, legislators and health departments of manure emission hotspots and public health concerns.
In Michigan at the current time, no agency responds to health complaints from manure emissions.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) is designated by law as first responder to odor complaints, but does not document health symptoms. The law allows MDA 7 days to respond and often the emissions have dissipated in that time. The MDA's only requirement is to check the livestock facility for compliance with voluntary agricultural practices. If the facility is in compliance, the complaint is "unverified," no matter what symptoms were reported or how prolonged the exposure to emissions. Local health departments refer all agricultural emission complaints to MDA.
Discussions have recently begun involving various state agencies--Michigan's Department of Community Health, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, MDA, and citizen groups including ECCSCM--to find ways to close this agency gap in response to health complaints.
Studies show hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are major emissions from manure. When manure is liquefied and sprayed on fields, the gasses can carry beyond the boundaries of the field and affect residents in the larger community. Common symptoms from hydrogen sulfide and ammonia include watery eyes, sore throat, headache, laryngitis, nausea. Acute or prolonged exposures can be more serious, including migraines, depression, asthma attacks and difficulty breathing.
Documentation of health symptoms will help identify the scope and impact of manure emissions in agricultural communities.
The online Manure Emissions Incident Report can be found at:
The printed Manure Emissions Log Book is available free of charge from:
P.O. Box 254
Hudson, MI 39247
Or order by email: