Environmental health impacts of concentrated animal feeding operations: anticipating hazards--searching for solutions

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Environmental Health Perspectives

DOI of Published Version



A scientific conference and workshop was held March 2004 in Iowa City, Iowa, that brought together environmental scientists from North America and Europe to address major environmental health issues associated with concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in large, industrialized livestock production facilities. After one and a half days of plenary sessions, five expert workgroups convened to consider the most relevant research areas, including respiratory health effects, modeling and monitoring of air toxics, water quality issues, influenza pandemics and antibiotic resistance, and community health and socioeconomic issues. The workgroup reports that follow outline the state of the science and public health concerns relating to livestock production as they apply to each workgroup topic. The reports also identify areas in which further research is needed and suggest opportunities to translate science to policy initiatives that would effect improvements in public and environmental health. Viable solutions to some of the current environmental health problems associated with CAFOs are outlined. In addition, these reports bring to light several major concerns, including air and water contamination, the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in livestock, and the specter of influenza outbreaks arising from siting industrialized poultry and swine production in proximity to each other and to humans.



Published Article/Book Citation

Environmental Health Perspectives, 115:2 (2007) pp.296-297. DOI:10.1289/ehp.8831.


EHP is a publication of the U.S. Federal Government, and its content lies in the public domain.

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