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Manure runoff is threat to human health [Letter]
Reducing runoff from over application of manure is not just about preventing algal blooms and dead zones in the Chesapeake Bay ("Farm pollution rule withdrawn," Nov. 18). High levels of nitrogen and phosphorous, antibiotic resistant bacteria and animal drug residues in ground water pose a risk to human health. This is especially important on the Eastern Shore where a higher proportion of residents rely on water from private wells, which are not monitored by government agencies. Research by the U.S. Geological Survey has shown that surface and ground water quality in the Delmarva region is highly impacted by the disposal of 42 million cubic feet of manure from the 523 million chickens grown there each year (numbers according to a Delmarva Poultry Industry 2009 Fact Sheet). The people most at risk for health problems due to exposure to pollution from industrial poultry production in Maryland are Eastern Shore residents, including farmers and their communities.
November 22, 2013