New Study Reveals Chicken CAFOs Emit Unhealthy Levels of Ammonia
September 5, 2007
The Sierra Club has released a study which reveals that ammonia emissions from confined chicken operations in Western Kentucky are high enough to pose a serious threat to public health. This study, which comes as part of a settlement agreement between the Club and Tyson Foods, is a comprehensive evaluation of confined chicken feedlot emissions which examines the health effects of these operations. Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, MD, of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, expressed his view that this study is the most comprehensive ever done. Ammonia is a toxic chemical and frequent exposure can lead to numerous respiratory ailments; Dr. Hirsch reports that "Ammonia can induce an increase in autonomic discharge, blood pressure, pulse, and cortisol levels causing an increase in cardiovascular disease, headache, chemosensory loss, psychiatric disorders, and cognitive effects". Aloma Dew of the Sierra Club noted that "The levels of ammonia are too high for community health and we hope that Tyson will be a leader in working to make these facilities safer and more environmentally friendly".
Although the issue of toxic emissions continues to be a problem with confined chicken operations in western Kentucky, the Sierra Club has been very pleased with a recent effort by Tyson Chicken to take steps to mitigate the problems in Webster County, recently sending top executives to Clay to see the situation first hand. They will return for a community meeting on Sept. 25 to report steps they have taken and levels of success. "We are hoping that Tyson will take bold steps to lead the poultry industry in following existing regulations and not try to side-step federal rules that protect the environment and public health," stated Ed Hopkins, Director of the Sierra Club Environmental Quality Program.
Details and Documents:
Poultry Operations Emit Unhealthy Levels of Ammonia According to New Study
September 5, 2007, Sierra Club Press Release
Tyson Broiler Ammonia Emission Monitoring Project Final Report
Tyson Broiler Ammonia Emission Monitoring Project, Iowa State University and University of Kentucky
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