Dustiness of chopped straw as affected by lignosulfonate as a dust suppressant.

Ann Agric Environ Med 1999;6(2):133–140
Many sources add to the concentration of bioaerosols in livestock buildings, and source control is the number one priority for keeping a low concentration. Straw is a common but dusty bedding material in livestock buildings and the present study is focused on the dustiness of chopped straw (barley) as affected by lignosulfonate (LS) as a dust suppressant. A LS-solution was aerosolized in a spray chamber fitted to an existing bedding chopper to allow the chopped straw to adsorb the LS-solution. The dustiness of straw treated with LS was compared to non-treated straw. As storage conditions may affect dustiness, the study included treated straw kept for 4 weeks in sealed plastic bags. Dustiness of the chopped straw was measured in terms of the potential of the straw to emit bioaerosols in a rotating drum. The LS-treated straw proved low in dustiness compared to the non-treated straw. The dustiness with respect to the mass of dust was reduced by at least a factor of 6, and for fungi and endotoxin the factors of reduction were 4 and 3, respectively. Dustiness of LS-treated straw kept in plastic bags was reduced by a factor of 2 for mass of dust and by a factor of 4 for endotoxin, but dustiness for fungi was increased by a factor of 3. It is concluded that lignosulfonate has potential as a dust suppressant for chopped straw.