Kids' asthma and hog farms linked

“A newly published University of Iowa study suggests that parents living on hog farms should protect their children from asthma by limiting exposure to dust from hog operations. James Merchant, dean of the U of I’s College of Public Health, said the study published in the online Environmental Health Perspectives this week showed that children living on hog farms had a higher prevalence of asthma than did those living on farms with no hogs. It also raised questions about whether antibiotics fed to livestock play a role in the illnesses. ‘Farms that added antibiotics to feed tended to have larger numbers of livestock than farms that did not add antibiotics to feed,’ Merchant observed. ‘However, it is plausible that this route of antibiotic exposure may play some causal role in the development of childhood asthma.’ Added Merchant: ‘We believe that some of the increase in asthma risk is related to occupational and bystander exposures in animal feeding operations.’ To read the study, visit // To read the Des Moines Register article from which this was excerpted, visit // 412100392/1042″””