"Air pollution from factory farms and growing feed crops kills an estimated 12,700 people in the U.S. a year."
"A coalition of environmental and animal rights groups petitioned the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday to abandon a "sweetheart" deal with factory farm owners—and start enforcing air pollution regulations.
The 24 organizations, which include the Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch, and the Southern Environmental Law Center, say in the petition that a 2005 deal signed by the EPA with owners of 13,900 animal feeding operations—so-called "factory farms" where animals are raised in confined settings instead of in pastures—has put many rural communities in a "purgatory of legalized air pollution."
A recent study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) estimated that air pollution from U.S. meat production, including raising feed crops for livestock, kills 12,700 people a year. Animal manure gives off acrid-smelling gases like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide and releases volatile organic compounds, while livestock kicking up dust and farmers tilling fields release fine particles into the air."