Polluted by pig poo

February 10th, 2012

This article is more than 11 years old.

Council in Wales claims that Danish farms are responsible for rise in poor air quality

Neath Port Talbot Council in South Wales has complained that Danish pigs are contributing to their local air pollution, reports Wales Online. 

Danish pig poo particles are apparently showing up on the Welsh councilÂ’s atmospheric monitoring devices.

“In situations where you’ve got a gentle easterly breeze, you would get higher concentrations in the trajectory of the air mass moving from Holland to England and Wales,” Roger Barrowcliffe, a meteorologist and air quality expert from engineering firm RWDI, told the website. “We’re sort of in a situation now.”

Barrowcliffe explained that pig faeces gives off ammonia, causing a chemical reaction in the atmosphere that turns the gas into ammonium nitrate particles.

Denmark, located just over one thousand kilometres east of Wales, has about 5,000 pig farms. The Danish Agriculture and Food Council maintains that pig farmers use updated and highly-advanced technology to reduce ammonia emissions and follow stringent environmental regulations.

Port Talbot exceeded its safety threshold of polluted air on 13 days in 2010 but now that has increased to 29 days – a rise that its council is blaming on the Danish pigs. “Approximately 11 of the additional days were caused by trans-boundary pollution, in this case including pollution from Saharan sand and Danish pig farms,” the council’s climate change manager Geoff Marquis told Wales Online.

However, Dr David Muir from the Institute of Air Quality Management told the website that the situation was just an “occasional episode” and that with “[the pollution] they’ve got locally in Port Talbot, they’re going to exceed the standards without any help from Danish pig farms”.


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