Letter to the Editor

It's not just the smell

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

If factory farms are so safe, why are the pork producers filing suit to block having to report when the toxic gases hydrogen sulfide and ammonia emitted from hog confinements are over 100 pounds per day? All counties in Iowa now have either “poor” or “very poor” air quality according to a recent EPA air quality map. 

“Hydrogen sulfide is a potent neurotoxin and chronic exposure to even low levels causes irreversible damage to the brain and central nervous system. Children are the most susceptible to this poisonous gas,” according to the Journal of Environmental Science and Health

“Hydrogen sulfide is associated with hog confinements and the application of liquid manure,” Dr. Kaye Kilburn said.

Factory farms are exempt from the Clean Air Act, even though they produce large quantities of toxic emissions that have been proven to harm human health in multiple scientific and medical studies. With thousands of factory farms/CAFOs in Iowa that have little or no public health or environmental regulation, it's time to clean up our state so our grandchildren will inherit a state safe and pleasant to live in. That starts with a moratorium on new CAFOs until regulations can be developed to protect our most precious resource … our children. Clean air and clean water are prerequisites for good health. Contact your legislators and Governor Reynolds and let them know what the majority of Iowans value, and that if they don't agree with us, they will be sent home.

Joan Olive

Spirit Lake