Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Farming’s air pollution is deadly, scientists say

 Livestock and poultry farming results in 12,720 deaths per year in the United States, according to a new report in the National Academy of Sciences.

Some of that blame rests on growing crops for livestock and poultry.

Reducing consumption of conventionally raised meat and substituting plant-based foods that maintain protein intake and other nutritional needs could reduce agricultural air quality-related mortality by 68 to 83 per cent, the report said.

Fourteen researchers from universities across the U.S. and in England collaborated on the research focused on agriculture as a source of air pollution and the effects of poor air quality on human health as well as the environment. 

The researchers quantified the air quality-related health damages attributable to 95 agricultural commodities and 67 final food products, accounting for more than 99 per cent of agricultural production in the U.S.

The study did find that on-farm interventions could cut the death rate attributed to agriculture-related air pollution in half.

These interventions include improved livestock waste management and fertilizer application practices that reduce emissions of ammonia.

Other things mentioned are dust from tillage, field burning, livestock dust and machinery.