Arsenic: A Roadblock to Potential Animal Waste Management Solutions
The localization and intensification of the poultry industry over the past 50 years have incidentally created a largely ignored environmental management crisis. As a result of these changes in poultry production, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) produce far more waste than can be managed by land disposal within the regions where it is produced. As a result, alternative waste management practices are currently being implemented, including incineration and pelletization of waste. However, organic arsenicals used in poultry feed are converted to inorganic arsenicals in poultry waste, limiting the feasibility of waste management alternatives. The presence of inorganic arsenic in incinerator ash and pelletized waste sold as fertilizer creates opportunities for population exposures that did not previously exist. The removal of arsenic from animal feed is a critical step toward safe poultry waste management.