Clouds Of Fecal Dust Put Panhandle Residents’ Health At Risk

The dust from dried cow manure poses health and environmental hazards, but state regulators are slow to do much about it.

By Terri LangfordFebruary 6, 2020 2:30 pm, , ,

A fifth of the nation’s beef supply comes from the Texas Panhandle. It’s a place where cattle outnumber people, and also where communities suffer from a harmful air pollutant called “fecal dust.”

Texas Observer staff writer Chris Collins spent four months investigating how fecal dust from dried cow manure affects Texans’ health in his latest story, “Something in the Air.” In it, Collins dives into what the state is and isn’t doing about what he calls a “severe problem.” He says the issue is especially prevalent in Deaf Smith County, where more feedlots are expected to open despite hundreds of complaints.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How fecal dust is produced

– What types of health problems come from fecal dust

– How the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has failed to fix the problem


Written by Samantha Carrizal.