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Characterization of dusts collected from swine confinement buildings.

Donham KJ; Scallon LJ; Popendorf W; Treuhaft MW; Roberts RC
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1986 Jul; 47(7):404-410
Dust samples from swine confinement buildings were analyzed for particulate matter, chemical composition, and biochemical and biological constitution. The total mass was determined by collecting dusts on membrane filters. Aerodynamic size characteristics were measured by cascade impactors. Dust particles trapped on cassette filters were analyzed by phase contrast and fluorescent light microscopy. The lowest aerosol concentration, 3.2 milligram/cubic meter (mg/m3), was found in farrowing buildings and the highest, 15.3 mg/m3, in finishing buildings. The concentration of respirable size particles was higher in farrowing and nursery environments. The mass median diameter of particles was approximately 9.6 microns. The predominant organisms isolated were mesophilic gram positive bacteria. The main fungi species were Penicillium, Fusarium, and Verticillium. Cultured dust yielded a high count of Verticillium. The protein content of dust was 23 percent. The microbial content was three to four orders of magnitude lower than in moldy silage dust that has been associated with pulmonary mycotoxicosis and farmer's lung disease. Fecal particles, containing microorganisms and proteolytic enzymes, ranged from 2 to 0.4 microns in diameter and represented the major dust burden to the alveoli. Proteolytic activity was detected in five of the six samples. The average adsorbed ammonia concentration was 3.9 milligrams nitrogen/gram dust. The authors state that the combination of toxic gases, mold spores, and other components in these aerosols may have the potential for causing a synergistic or additive effect on the health of exposed workers.
NIOSH-Grant; Animal-husbandry; Livestock; Airborne-dusts; Dust-analysis; Dust-inhalation; Health-hazards; Occupational-health; Respiratory-irritants; NIOSH-Publication
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American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
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Prev Med & Environmental Hlth University of Iowa Inst Agric Med & Environ Hlth Oakdale, Iowa 52319
Page last reviewed: August 14, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division