I would like to see community and occupational health standards be developed to protect the health of the public and the workers of animal confinements.
The first time that I became aware of the adverse effects of air pollution was when I was living with a roommate who smoked indoors. Exposure to secondhand smoke caused me some respiratory discomfort, but it also got me interested in researching complex mixtures of air pollutants.
In Nebraska, emissions from large animals confinements include particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, hydrogen sulfide and ammonia. There is also a significant output of methane, a known greenhouse gas. The health of workers in these animal confinements is of particular concern because they are likely to be exposed to higher concentrations of these pollutants for longer periods of time than the general public.
The challenge is to balance the economic benefit of these facilities to the local economy with protecting public health. I would like to see community and occupational health standards be developed to protect the health of the public and the workers of animal confinements. In addition, I would like to see guidelines be updated about where the animal confinements can be sited, and funding be set aside to study the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of these animal confinements on local communities.