Environmental Justice Landscape of Swine CAFOs in Iowa

Iowa is the top hog-producing state in the country, and the vast majority are produced in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Swine CAFOs have been associated with environmental pollution and negative health impacts. Studies in North Carolina and elsewhere have identified environmental injustice with respect to the location of CAFOs and the distribution of their burdens across space. This was the first study to attempt a similar analysis in Iowa. Numerous data quality issues were identified and a call made for a broader interpretation of environmental justice as processes rather than simply as outcomes.


Hotspots of Swine animal units (AUs) summarized by Census Block Groups (CBGs).


Common antibiotics used in hog CAFOs, as detected in surface waters in Iowa, summarized by HUC-8 watershed.

Carrel, M., Young, S.G., & Tate, E. (2016) Pigs in space: Determining the environmental justice landscape of swine concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Iowa. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(9), 849. doi:10.3390/ijerph13090849

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