Home / Politics / Open thread for night owls: NC factory hog farming afflicted residents' health before Florence

Open thread for night owls: NC factory hog farming afflicted residents' health before Florence

Manure lagoons on hog farms like this one in eastern North Carolina flooded after Hurricane Floyd swept through in 1999 and they flooded again when Hurricane Florence roared through. But health problems didn’t start with the hurricanes. Nearby residents suffer a plethora of health issues unrelated to hurricanes. It’s an unnatural disaster.

Tom Philpott at Mother Jones writes—Even Before Florence’s Floods, North Carolina’s Factory Farms Were Deadly to Their Neighbors:

A new paper from Duke University researcher sketches out an answer to the riddle of [why the hog industry’s would plunk itself down in the risky flood-prone areas in North Carolina]. Short summary: Residents of the area tend to have lower incomes—and are more likely to be black and Native American—than other parts of the state. In other words, the results suggest, the industry has parked itself in an area populated by marginalized people with few resources to defend themselves against environmental threats.  […] 

These results track with a 2014 paper by University of North Carolina researchers finding that “the proportions of Blacks, Hispanics and American Indians living within 3 miles of an industrial hog operation are 1.54, 1.39 and 2.18 times higher, respectively, than the proportion of  non-Hispanic Whites.”

The new study also found worse health outcomes in the hog counties than in the control—rates were higher for all-cause mortality, infant mortality, mortality from anemia, kidney disease, tuberculosis, as well as hospital admissions for low birth-weight infants. […]

Although the paper doesn’t establish that living near a factory-scale hog operation triggers these bad effects, it notes that doing so means being “chronically exposed to contaminants from land-applied wastes and their overland flows, leaking lagoons, and pit-buried carcasses, as well as airborne emissions” of toxic gases from manure lagoons.

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On this date at Daily Kos in 2005Getting ahead of the issue on Iraq:

Elected Democrats have been rightly knocked around for having no leadership instincts, and that’s nowhere more visible than on the issue of Iraq. While Democrats in DC and in races around the country want to pretend that Iraq can be trumped by health care and social security, there’s just no way that’s going to happen. Iraq will be issues number one, two and three on voters’ minds.

Now here’s the problem. Most DC Democrats I’ve spoken to are very much against the war, but they’re afraid to say so. Afraid to look weak. Afraid that they’ll be tarred as peaceniks.

Yet, despite any high-profile opposition to the war, more and more people are turning on Bush’s War. And now that polling is showing the American people increasingly disenchanted with the war and agitating for a pullout, more Democrats will feel compelled to take “courageous” stances on the war, now that only 32 percent of the American people approve of it.

On today’s “encore presentation” of the Kagro in the Morning show: It’s Yom Kippur and Talk Like a Pirate Day? Well, good thing our 9/19/17 show mentions both, because I’ll be busy arr-toning. Bain boards, sinks Toys-R-Us. Trump plunders charities. Fox News rapes under the Jolly Roger.

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