A study from the Netherlands has found that air pollution from factory farms causes lung damage for local residents.
While prior studies have linked these large-scale farms to high dust levels, this new study focuses on ammonia and its effect on breathing patterns.
The more livestock farms that were near participants' homes—within 1,000 meters, or six-tenths of a mile—the more impairments researchers found in how participants expelled air when they exhaled.
But it’s not just ammonia gas. People living near factory farms have complained that farmers spray feces and urine into the air to "dispose of" the waste.
The Natural Resources Defense Council states:
People who live near or work at factory farms breathe in hundreds of gases, which are formed as manure decomposes. For instance, one gas released by the [manure] lagoons, hydrogen sulfide, is dangerous even at low levels. Its effects—which are irreversible—range from sore throat to seizures, comas and even death.
And these industrial farms aren’t just a serious public health and environmental justice issue for nearby communities; they’re also awful for animals and the planet.
The single best thing we can do to protect animals and ourselves from this destructive industry is to reduce or eliminate our consumption of meat and other animal products.
Click here for delicious vegan recipes, meal ideas, and tips on making the switch.