Now, some people who can't get a breath of fresh air are starting to take a stand in court.
Some lawsuits have been successful in the past, but there is still a long way to go from Bush-era free passes given to these agribusinesses when it comes to public accountability.
The latest case comes from Shoals, North Carolina, where Earthjustice, a non-profit environmental law organization, filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency to find out exactly what these farms are putting in the air, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. A factory farm capable of housing 100,000 chickens moved in next door to 30-year resident Terry Marshall two years ago, and now he's suffering from nausea every time he steps outside.
"It makes you nauseous. It chases you inside. You can't plan your life around anything you do outside," Marshall said at a news conference on Wednesday. "You can't enjoy a cup of coffee on your back deck."
Drone footage of toxic lakes in North Carolina released in December 2014 has been watched over 3 million times, and over 400 neighbors of these monstrous cesspools have filed 25 lawsuits against Smithfield Foods, which sprays toxins from hog farms into the air over nearby fields.