Fighting Hog Farm Health Hazards in Eastern North Carolina

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Hog concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Eastern North Carolina including Bladen and Duplin Counties release ammonia (NH3), hydrogen sulfide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particulate matter to the atmosphere. These operations are located mainly in the NC coastal plain and can create potential health hazards for nearby human populations including immunosuppression, respiratory irritation, and asthma. Previous research has shown that these operations disproportionately burden people of color and low-income populations in North Carolina. Dr. Wilson established that passive sampling can be effectively used to measure average atmospheric ammonia levels at community locations near hog CAFOs in Eastern NC. The collected data indicated the relative exposure for human populations who live near a hog CAFO. The closer a populace is to the hog CAFO, the more intense the exposure. Dr. Wilson previously partnered with North Carolina Environmental Justice Network (NCEJN) and REACH to provide training and technical assistance on the public health impacts of hog CAFOs.

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