RESEARCH PAPER
ASSESSMENT OF KOREAN FARMER’S EXPOSURE LEVEL TO DUST IN PIG BUILDINGS
 
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1
Institute of Environmental and Industrial Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
2
Division of Livestock Policy, Jeju Special Self-Governing Provincial Offi ce, Jeju, Republic of Korea
3
Institute for Occupational Health, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Republic of Korea
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Ki Youn Kim   

Institute of Industrial and Environmental Medicine, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Republic of Korea.
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2008;15(1):51–58
 
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ABSTRACT
The purpose of the study was to assess Korean farmer’s exposure level to dust in pig buildings and dust emissions by investigating airborne concentrations of total and respirable dust. Five main types of pig buildings operating currently in Korea were selected. For area air sampling, 30 sites per each building type were visited during spring (March – May) and autumn (September – November) seasons. For personal air sampling, concentrations of total and respirable dust were measured for 2 –3 hours, during cleaning the pig building before the end of the daily shift, by attaching air sampling equipment near to the farmer’s breathing zone. Measurement were taken for 8 hours, e.g. average daily work time (09:00–17:00), at 0.5 m above the fl oor at three locations on the central alley in the pig building. Emission rates of total and respirable dust were estimated by multiplying the mean concentration of total and respirable dust measured near the air outlet by the mean ventilation rate, and expressed either per area or per pig of live weight. The ranges of farmer’s exposure level to total dust and respirable dust in the pig buildings were estimated as 0.6–6.7 mg m-3 and 0.3–3.5 mg m-3, respectively. The pig buildings operated with a deep-litter bed system showed the highest dust level while the naturally ventilated pig buildings with slats represented the lowest dust level (p<0.05). Emission rates ranged from 35–400 mg h-1m-2 for total dust and from 4–40 mg h-1m-2 for respirable dust, respectively, indicating a similar pattern for the distribution of exposure level. Korean farmers’ exposure level to dust in all the pig buildings investigated was below the exposure limit value equal in Korea equal to 10 mg m-3, while it exceeded the threshold limit values (TLVs) established in other developed countries. In comparison with previous studies performed in other countries, mean exposure level in the pig buildings of Korea was generally lower for total dust and higher for respirable dust based on the area sampling method.
eISSN:1898-2263
ISSN:1232-1966