Characterising populations living close to intensive farming and composting facilities in England

Philippa Douglas*, Daniela Fecht, Deborah Jarvis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bioaerosol exposure has been linked to adverse respiratory conditions. Intensive farming and composting facilities are important anthropogenic sources of bioaerosols. We aimed to characterise populations living close to intensive farming and composting facilities. We also infer whether the public are becoming more concerned about anthropogenic bioaerosol emissions, using reports of air pollution related incidents attributed to facilities. We mapped the location of 1,257 intensive farming and 310 composting facilities in England in relation to the resident population and its characteristics (sex and age), area characteristics (deprivation proxy and rural/urban classification) and school locations stratified by pre-defined distance bands from these bioaerosol sources. We also calculated the average number of air pollution related incidents per year per facility. We found that more than 16% of the population and 15% of schools are located within 4,828 m of an intensive farming facility or 4,000 m of a composting facility; few people (0.01 %) live very close to these sites and tend to be older people. Close to composting facilities, populations are more likely to be urban and more deprived. The number of incidents were attributed to a small proportion of facilities; population characteristics around these facilities were similar. Results indicate that populations living near composting facilities (particularly>250 to ⩽ 4,000 m) are mostly located in urban areas (80%–88% of the population), which supports the need for more community health studies to be conducted. Results could also be used to inform risk management strategies at facilities with higher numbers of incidents. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number40
JournalFrontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Philippa Douglas was funded by the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health via an early career research fellowship. The research was part funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Health Impact of Environmental Hazards at King?s College London in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) and Imperial College London. The work of the UK Small Area Health Statistics Unit is funded by Public Health England as part of the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, funded also by the UK Medical Research Council. The views expressed are of the authors and not necessarily those of the MRC, the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health & Social Care or Public Health England. We thank the Environment Agency (EA) for providing the composting and intensive farming facility permit and CICs data, and for aiding with its interpretation; these data were provided to us via email under the Environment Agency Conditional Licence (at the website www.gov.uk/government/publications/environment-agency-conditional-licence/environment-agency-conditional-licence). The population data were supplied by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), derived from small area population estimates, data available under the UK Open Government License v.3.0 (Contains National Statistics data ? Crown copyright and database right 2020. Contains OS data ? Crown copyright (2020)). Schools data were obtained from the.GOV website (freely available online at website www.gov.uk/government/publications/schools-in-england#history). Data were provided to be used solely for academic, personal and/or non-commercial purposes.

Funding Information:
Philippa Douglas was funded by the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health via an early career research fellowship. The research was part funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Health Impact of Environmental Hazards at King’s College London in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) and Imperial College London. The work of the UK Small Area Health Statistics Unit is funded by Public Health England as part of the MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, funded also by the UK Medical Research Council. The views expressed are of the authors and not necessarily those of the MRC, the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health & Social Care or Public Health England. We thank the Environment Agency (EA) for providing the composting and intensive farming facility permit and CICs data, and for aiding with its interpretation; these data were provided to us via email under the Environment Agency Conditional Licence (at the website www.gov.uk/government/publications/environment-agency-conditional-licence/environment-agency-conditional-licence ). The population data were supplied by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), derived from small area population estimates, data available under the UK Open Government License v.3.0 (Contains National Statistics data © Crown copyright and database right 2020. Contains OS data © Crown copyright (2020)). Schools data were obtained from the.GOV website (freely available online at website www.gov.uk/government/publications/schools-in-england#history). Data were provided to be used solely for academic, personal and/or non-commercial purposes.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Bioaerosol
  • Composting
  • Intensive farming
  • Population characteristics
  • Public health

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