A new study finds that environmental damage caused by corn production results in 4,300 premature deaths annually in the United States, representing a monetized cost of $39 billion.

The paper, published in Nature Sustainability, presents how researchers have estimated for the first time the health damages caused by corn production using detailed information on pollution emissions, pollution transport by wind, and human exposure to increased air pollution levels. Corn is a key agricultural crop used for animal feed, ethanol biofuel, and human consumption.