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Airborne antibiotic concentrations in a swine feeding operation.

Murphy MW; Sanderson WT; Vargo JD
J Agric Saf Health 2007 Nov; 13(4):357-366
During the past 50 years, it has become common practice in the U.S. to add antibiotics to livestock feed to reduce disease and promote growth. Use of antibiotics in this manner has become the source of increasing controversy because overuse of antibiotics is suspected of leading to resistance in bacteria that cause human diseases. The purpose of this study was to measure airborne antibiotic concentrations in a swine production facility that routinely included antibiotics in feed. Samples were collected in a hog facility that included rooms devoted to farrowing, nursery, and growing operations. Analytical methods were developed to measure concentrations of the antibiotics tylosin and lincomycin in air samples. Tylosin was mixed in the feed in some of the rooms in the facility. While lincomycin was not added during this study, it had been used in this facility in the past and therefore was included in the analytical testing. Inhalable (n = 34), respirable (n = 37), and high-volume (n = 16) dust samples were collected on PVC filters over a two-month period. Tylosin concentrations were above the limit of quantification (LOQ) in 93% of the samples, while lincomycin concentrations were above the LOQ in only 9% of the samples (LOQ = 0.04 ng/sample). The average tylosin concentrations were 3, 18, and 49 ng/m3 in the respirable, inhalable, and high-volume samples, respectively. No occupational or environmental worker exposure criteria currently exist for antibiotics in air. The results of this study may be used to estimate potential swine production worker exposures and to further study the association between these exposures and health effects.
Airborne-particles; Airborne-dusts; Air-contamination; Animals; Analytical-methods; Feeding-study; Animal-husbandry; Antibiotics; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Pollution; Indoor-air-pollution; Dust-sampling; Dusts; Dust-exposure; Dust-analysis; Air-sampling; Air-samples; Inhalants; Agriculture; Agricultural-industry; Author Keywords: Airborne sampling; Antibiotic resistance; Antibiotics; Lincomycin; Swine production; Tylosin
Wayne T. Sanderson, University of Iowa, 134 IREH, 100 Oakdale Campus, Iowa City, IA 52242
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Journal Article
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Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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University of Iowa
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division