Social Justice Studies and Reports
Industrial animal production systems produce enormous quantities of waste that generates odors. This community-based research study utilized questionnaires to investigate the public’s perception of the impact of these industrial odors on activities of daily living. The results of this study indicate that odor from hog confinements limits leisure activities and social interactions “which could have adverse public health consequences.”
Malodor is an important facet of environmental injustice, because industrial facilities that create malodor are disproportionately located near communities of low income people and people of color. Malodor has negative impacts on physical and mental health and social wellbeing. In this epidemiological study, participants who lived within 1.5 miles of at least one industrial hog facility rated malodor intensity, mood, and stress during a two week period, while researchers monitored air pollution levels. Results showed that particulate matter, hydrogen sulfide and malodor were related to negative mood and stress in these
This paper addresses the potential for environmental research to document exposures and health effects that derive from unequal relationships between communities of low income or people of color and institutions that profit from policies and activities that burden these communities. Benefits to such institutions include revenue, federal and state services or funding and avoidance of wastes. Researchers from relatively privileged institutions may experience conflicts of interest when conducting research on behalf of, or in collaboration with such communities. The article describes an example of how these issues of social responsibility and research ethics were addressed in the context of environmental health research on industrialized hog production in North Carolina.
This epidemiological study sought new insight into modes of transmission and opportunities for prevention of enteric diseases, such as Salmonellosis, Shigellosis, and E. coli O157:H7 infections in the U.S. Results showed that the following factors may affect the risk of acquiring one of these enteric bacterial diseases: age, place of residence, educational attainment, poverty, race and ethnicity.
This epidemiological study was conducted in eastern North Carolina where high-density industrial swine production takes place in communities of low-income people and people of color. The study design references the precepts of the environmental justice movement. The authors investigated the impacts of industrial agricultural pollution on the health and quality of life of neighboring communities while providing opportunities for community education and organizing.