Factory farms release hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, and particulate matter into the air. Residents next to these facilities often have higher rates of respiratory illness. A study by Dr. Kelley Donham examined public health risks of people living in the vicinity of swine production units and reported:
- A survey of residents living in the vicinity of a 2,500-sow facility found much higher reports of respiratory problems than those recorded in neighborhoods of farms where no livestock was raised.
Furthermore, Kendall Thu et al found that of the 18 people living within a two-mile radius of a 4,000 head hog barn all reported respiratory problems similar to those experienced by hog barn workers. Respondents were suffering from bronchitis, asthma, wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.
Because of the strong odour emitted by ILOs many neighbours are unable to enjoy their rural communities by spending time outdoors breathing the fresh country air. Many are forced to keep their windows closed, even when there is a slight breeze, because the stench of nearby ILOs is nauseating. Rural quality of life is another casualty of ILOs.