For all the headlines and heated debates over large-scale hog lots, there still is no research pinpointing specific health risks, state health officials said.
But that does not mean the Iowa Department of Public Health is ready to say that there are no problems, Director Stephen Gleason said Thursday.
Charles Barton, the state's toxicologist, reviewed studies conducted on large livestock feedlots and the problems of odor and water contamination.
"Based on current science ... and other science-based bodies of knowledge regarding confinement operations, it is concluded that confinement operations do not pose an apparent public health risk," Barton said in summarizing his review for a January report.
The growing number of large hog farms in Iowa is pushing state health leaders to study how odors and chemical emissions affect people living nearby.
Read the rest of this article in the 2/03 Pilot Tribune.