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Living Near Factory Farms Increases Blood Pressure

A new study links air pollution caused by industrial pig farms to higher blood pressure in neighboring residents.

A recent report published in Environmental Health Perspectives reveals that living near factory farms can result in increased blood pressure rates. The study, led by epidemiologist and associate professor at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health Steve Wing, observed 101 non-smoking adult volunteers living near 16 different industrial pig farms. Twice daily, residents sat outside for 10 minutes; afterward, they reported offensive levels of farm-derived odors on a nine-point scale and had their blood pressure measured. The study found that they experienced acute blood pressure increases from the odors, which can lead to chronic hypertension. In a related study, researches found that residents who lived near factory farms had an increased likelihood of contracting staph infections that were unresponsive to antibiotics.

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