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Comparison of a direct-reading device to gravimetric methods for evaluating organic dust aerosols in an enclosed swine production environment.

Taylor-CD; Reynolds-SJ
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 2001 Jan; 16(1):78-83
The production of livestock in enclosed facilities has become an accepted practice, driven by the need for increased efficiency. Exposure to organic dusts, containing various bioactive components, has been identified an important risk factor for the high rate of lung disease found among workers in these environments. Assessment of organic dust exposure requires technical skills and instrumentation not readily available to most agricultural enterprises. Development of a simple, cost-effective method for measuring organic dust levels would be useful in evaluating and controlling exposures in these environments. The objective of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of the direct reading MIE PDM-3 Miniram for estimating organic dust concentrations in enclosed swine production facilities. Responses from the MIE PDM-3 Miniram were compared to gravimetric methods for total and inhalable dust. Total dust determinations were conducted in accordance with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) method 0500. Inhalable particulate mass (IPM) sampling was conducted using SKC brand IOM (Institute of Occupational Medicine) sampling cassettes, which meet the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists ACGIH criteria for inhalable dust sampling. This study design also allowed for the comparison of traditional total dust method to the IPM method, in collecting organic dusts in an agricultural setting. Fifteen sets of side-by-side samples (Miniram, total dust, and IPM) were collected over a period of six months in a swine confinement building. There were statistically significant differences in the results provided by the three sampling methods. Measurements for inhalable dust exceeded those for total dust in eleven of fifteen samples. The Miniram time-weighted average (TWA) response to the organic dust was always the lower of the three methods. A high degree of correlation was found among all three methods. The Miniram performed well under field conditions of varying temperature and humidity. The Miniram has the potential to predict the inhalable and total dust concentrations, assuming a correction factor for the organic dust being measured is applied.
Organic-dusts; Photometry; Aerosols; Environmental-pollution; Environmental-protection; Dust-control-equipment; Dust-counters; Dust-counting; Dust-exposure; Dust-extraction; Dust-inhalation; Dust-measurement; Dust-particles; Dust-samplers; Dust-sampling; Author Keywords: Organic Dust; Direct-Reading Instruments; Instrument Calibrations; Photometers
C.D. Taylor, Institute for Rural and Environmental Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City
Publication Date
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Journal Article
Funding Amount
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Cooperative Agreement
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Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Performing Organization
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division