NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Endotoxins in the agricultural environment.

Olenchock SA; May JJ; Pratt DS; Morey PR
Am J Ind Med 1986 Sep; 10(3):323-324
A study of endotoxins in dusts from silos was conducted. Airborne dusts generated during removal of the cap of moldy silage from silos were analyzed for Gram negative bacterial endotoxins. The dusts were fractionated and endotoxins in each size fraction were determined. Bulk silage samples were also analyzed. Endotoxin concentrations in respirable dust samples from two silos were 46.4 and 5.4 nanograms per milligram (ng/mg). Corresponding endotoxin concentrations in the total dust samples were 87.3 and 8.8ng/mg. Mean airborne endotoxin concentrations in the respirable dust fraction from the same two silos were 1.32 and 0.05 micrograms per cubic meter (microg/m3), respectively. Total airborne endotoxin concentrations were 8.85 and 0.12microg/m3, respectively. Mean airborne endotoxin concentrations in fractionated dust samples from five silos ranged from approximately 2 nanograms per cubic meter (ng/m3) for the smallest particle size to about 400ng/m3 for the largest size particles. Endotoxin concentrations in bulk silages ranged from 0.06 to 32.0ng/mg. The authors conclude that Gram negative bacterial endotoxins occur in silage and its related airborne dust. They are found in both respirable and total dust fractions, and in all particle sizes. During silo unloading operations, airborne endotoxins have the potential to reach all areas of the respiratory system where they can initiate or exacerbate pathophysiologic responses.
NIOSH-Author; Organic-dusts; Airborne-dusts; Molds; Toxins; Plant-dusts; Plant-substances; Agriculture; Bacterial-dusts; Microorganisms
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
Issue of Publication
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division