Meat production leads to thousands of air quality-related deaths annually
Agriculture is a major source of air pollution, killing an estimated 17,900 people in the U.S. every year, according to a new study.
Air pollution remains a major cause of death in the United States, one usually associated with tailpipe exhaust and factory and power plant smokestacks. Now new research shows that 16,000 U.S. deaths are the result of air polluted by growing and raising food—and 80 percent of those result from producing animal products like meat, dairy, and eggs.
Additional deaths are attributable to products we don’t eat, including ethanol, leather, or wool. That brings the total number of deaths from agricultural air pollution to 17,900 a year.
“We spend a lot of time thinking about how the food we consume impacts our health, but the food we eat impacts other people’s as well,” says Nina Domingo, lead author of a new study, published