[US] Neighbors of Vast Hog Farms Say Foul Air Endangers Their Health

Andrew Gach unclewolf at olypen.com
Sun May 11 08:47:25 EDT 2003

The New York Times, May 11, 2003

PAULDING, Ohio, May 8 - Robert Thornell says that five years ago an
invisible swirling poison invaded his family farm and the house he had built
with his hands. It robbed him of his memory, his balance and his ability to
work. It left him with mood swings, a stutter and fistfuls of pills. He went
from doctor to doctor, unable to understand what was happening to him.

The 14th doctor finally said he knew the source of the maladies: cesspools
the size of football fields belonging to the industrial hog farm a half-mile
from the Thornell home.

"I never related it to the hogs at all," said Mr. Thornell, who is now 55.

A growing number of scientists and public health officials around the
country say they have traced a variety of health problems faced by neighbors
of huge industrial farms to vast amounts of concentrated animal waste, which
emit toxic gases while collecting in open-air cesspools or evaporating
through sprays. The gases, hydrogen sulfide and ammonia, are poisonous.

The waste is collected in pools because the concentration of hogs is so high
that it must be treated before it can be used as fertilizer.


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