Navigation Links
Study finds health departments hindered in addressing health concerns from animal production sites
Date:2/4/2013

State and local health departments face significant barriers and usually do not get involved when confronted with public health concerns resulting from food animal production sites, according to a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The authors of the study, published in PLOS ONE, an open-access publisher of scientific research, examined the role of local and state health departments in responding to and preventing community-driven concerns associated with animal production sites. This study developed when it was brought to the attention of two of the authors that community members may assume that local health departments actively monitor and address potential concerns arising from large animal production sites. Prior experience of the authors indicated that this perception might be misinformed.

For the study, "Investigating the Role of State and Local Health Departments in Addressing Public Health Concerns Related to Industrial Food Animal Production Sites," researchers interviewed officials representing 13 county and eight state health departments and community leaders. Survey participants were selected in areas with high densities or rapid growth of large swine production sites. Researchers asked participants a serious of questions in an effort to find out what health and environmental concerns are reported to health departments, how the health departments respond, and to determine barriers that may prevent increased involvement.

Past studies have shown air near animal production sites to contain hydrogen sulfide, particulate matter, and allergens. Exposure to these emissions has been associated with multiple respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological health problems. Health department employees surveyed told investigators that, although some are often contacted by concerned community members living in close proximity to animal production sites, limited staff resources, lack of expertise or training, jurisdictional issues, and political pressures can hinder follow-up.

"Even though health departments are charged with monitoring and responding to the public health concerns of a community, most interviewed for the study said they had no involvement in decisions made about animal production sites," said Jillian Fry, PhD, lead author of the study. Primary regulatory authority over animal production sites, according to a report by the National Council of State Legislatures, frequently falls within the departments of the Environment or Natural Resources. "We believe formal involvement by state and local health departments may better protect the health of individuals in the community," said Fry.

Political and economic pressures were frequently cited as barriers to health departments becoming involved. Similarly, the researchers heard from participants that efforts to establish ordinances regulating animal production sites are often hindered by economic and political power held by agricultural corporations. As a result of the lack of health department involvement with concerns regarding animal production sites, community members surveyed noted they were, in essence, attempting to fill the role of health departments by performing environmental monitoring, and educating and informing the community. Community members said they often sought help and information from other government agencies, researchers, and other groupson a national or state levelto answer questions about animal production health concerns.

Community members surveyed said engaging a health department about animal production concerns had never led to a resolution. "Health departments generally don't get involved," noted Fry. "When they do, our study found that usually no action is ultimately taken to correct a potentially serious threat to public health." Community leaders contacted in the study unanimously supported an expanded role for health departments to become involved in animal production, equal to that of other state and local agencies. Health departments could be involved with animal production sites through assessment, education, outreach, monitoring, and participating in permitting decisions.

"We believe it is critical for affected communities, health care providers, policymakers, and public health professionals to be aware of the limited engagement on this issue by health departments," said Fry. "Health departments could play a more significant role in addressing community members' health concerns if resources and the political landscape changed."

Fry and the study's coauthors believe health departments with animal production sites in their county or state should be provided with training, educational materials, and additional funding to increase their understanding of the human health concerns surrounding animal agriculture. "Even with these additional resources, or a change in jurisdictional authority, political barriers will likely continue to be a significant challenge to fully addressing animal production and public health."


'/>"/>

Contact: Chris Stevens
dsteven@jhsph.edu
410-502-7578
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study Says Timing of Lunch May Impact Weight Loss – Celebrity Beverly Hills Doctor Discusses the Findings
2. Smokers Welcome? Lawyers at Console & Hollawell Warn Against New Study Claiming Smokers’ Lungs Okay for Transplant Recipients
3. Study: Infection preventionists know safe care
4. Energy Drinks Pose Risks to Teens, Study Finds
5. UCSB anthropologists study effects of modernization on physical activity and heart disease
6. Program to Spot Painkiller ODs Saves Lives: Study
7. Drug Users Are Super-Spreaders of Hepatitis C, Study Finds
8. Blacks Less Likely to Receive Kidney Transplant Early On, Study Finds
9. Sunshine Might Help Love Bloom, Study Suggests
10. Glazer receives grant to study light-activated cancer drugs
11. Study finds hormones can change the breasts genetic material
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2017)... ... April 29, 2017 , ... TransDark is a set of dynamic transitions ... the next without having to set a single keyframe in Final Cut Pro ... video production. , TransDark features dynamic transitions that momentarily splits the RGB layers of ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... An April 24th article on Yahoo! Beauty discusses ... with the help of a weight loss surgery. The woman, declaring “I will not hate ... been left following her dramatic weight loss. Dr. Feiz & Associates notes that, while it ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Beginning in 2017, Ridgecrest Herbals will be phasing out the ... ClearLungs Extra Strength formula. To ensure that the effectiveness of Clear Lungs Extra Strength ... , Removal of the homeopathic element , Adding their ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Ushio ... These lamps offer an instant energy-saving solution for F32T8 fluorescent lamps on most ... disconnect ballasts. These 50,000 hour rated lamps utilize the existing electronic ballast, saving ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... From April 30 to May ... Medicine will host industry leaders for the annual spring Convention & Expo, called ... industry adapt to the issues currently affecting urgent care and on-demand healthcare. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... 20, 2017  RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: RXII), ... address significant unmet medical needs, today announced that ... consumer product development program, based on its proprietary ... Investigative Dermatology (SID) 76 th Annual Meeting.  ... the sciences relevant to skin health and disease ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... 20, 2017   ZappRx, Inc ., a digital health ... process, today announced it closed $25 million in Series B ... firm based in Seattle that is ... . The Series B round included participation from SR ... and GV (formerly Google Ventures). As part of ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... -- Eyevensys, a private biotechnology company developing ... technology that enables the safe, local, sustained production of ... range of ophthalmic diseases, announces it has received approval ... (MHRA) to advance its technology into clinical development. ... The EyeCET platform ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: