There comes a time when we understand that an industry or a product has detrimental effects on either humans or the environment. This is one of those times.
We now understand the technology of confinements. We know the industrial poisons that are created by using this technology. And, we have medical and scientific studies which show harm to human health and the environment.
There is a history of industry fighting against change even when the dangers are known. Think of tobacco, DDT, PCB’s, lead in gasoline, etc. Industrial ag proponents are no different. “This is just agriculture” is the spin mantra coming from corporate ag apologists. But we now know why and how people and the environment are harmed by using this technology in agriculture. It is time to change.
The Kline study is the North Winn study. It talks about proximity. So this corresponds to the neighborhood; and shows that Winneshiek County is already at a level that harms human health.
The Merchant study is a study of children who live on farms with confinements. This would correspond to children on farms with confinements and close neighbors.
Here is a summary of their findings:
“Proximity of children to confinements” studies (University of Iowa’s Dr. Joel Kline http://www.chestjournal.org/cgi/content/full/129/6/1486 proximity to rural schools, James Merchant of the University of Iowa on asthma in children who live on a farm with a confinement http://www.ehponline.org/members/2004/7240/7240.pdf ) done since 2004 show even more alarming results. Iowa’s overall rate of asthma is about 6.7%. To generalize, it has been found that if a rural school has a confinement within 10 miles, 11.7% of the children have asthma – nearly twice the state rate. If a confinement is ½ mile away from a school, 24.6% of children have asthma – four times the state rate. And if you are a kid unlucky enough to live on a farm with a confinement, there is a 55.8% chance you will have asthma – nine times the state rate.
The last pdf contains the 177 medical and scientific studies we included in our EPA lawsuit submittal. It also contains a number of articles related to health and environment problems coming from confinements. The loss of the Hygiene Hypothesis document and discussion is also included.
2. Confinement slides – anaerobic digester.
3. Confinement slide – relative waste strength.
4. Ammonia cloud.