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The Public Health Impacts of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations on Local Communities

Greger, Michael MD; Koneswaran, Gowri Esq

doi: 10.1097/FCH.0b013e3181c4e22a

Large-scale farm animal production facilities, also known as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), release a significant amount of contaminants into the air and water. Adverse health effects related to exposure to these contaminants among CAFO workers have been well-documented; however, less is known about their impact on the health of residents in nearby communities. Epidemiological research in this area suggests that neighboring residents are at increased risk of developing neurobehavioral symptoms and respiratory illnesses, including asthma. Additional research is needed to better understand community-scale exposures and health outcomes related to the management practices and emissions of CAFOs.

Farm Animal Welfare, The Humane Society of the United States, Washington, District of Columbia.

Corresponding Author: Michael Greger, MD, Farm Animal Welfare, The Humane Society of the United States, 2100 L St, NW, Washington, DC 20037 (

The authors thank Bowen Cho and Paul Petersan for invaluable research and editorial assistance.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.