Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Animal Science
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/30/2003
Publication Date: 11/10/2004
Citation: Hatfield, J.L. 2004. Environmental Pollutants. In: W. Pond and A. Bell, editors. Encyclopedia of Animal Science. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker, Inc. p. 338-341. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Animal production systems have been considered as sources of environmental pollution. Although this statement is simple there is much more complexity to the problem of animal production and environmental impacts because of two key factors, first, the diversity among and within species on the range of production systems, and second, the range of environmental endpoints that can be affected through animal production. To fully understand the environmental issues the animal production system has to be dissected into phases, e.g., housing, manure storage, and manure application, and environmental endpoint, e.g., water, soil, or air quality. Managing animal production systems to reduce environmental impacts is most difficult for the air quality impact. Water and soil quality responses to animal production can be managed through planning and understanding the risk of spills, overapplication, or improper use of manure. Escape of gaseous or particulate material into the atmosphere from all phases of animal production is more difficult to quantify and the current body of knowledge contains a wide variation in the observed values of all gases. To address this problem will require the development of tools that can more accurately measure the concentrations of all of the gases in the atmosphere and couple these measurements with greatly enhanced atmospheric transport models so that a more accurate emission model can be developed.