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RESEARCH PAPER
 
 

Exposure levels of farmers and veterinarians to particulate matter and gases uring operational tasks in pig-fattening houses

Bart Sonck 4,  
 
1
Department of Agricultural Engineering, Technology and Food Science Unit, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Merelbeke, Belgium
2
Department of Sustainable Organic Chemistry and Technology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium
3
Department of Obstetrics, Reproduction and Herd Health, Faculty of Veterinarian Medicine, Ghent University, Belgium
4
Animal Sciences Unit, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Belgium
Ann Agric Environ Med 2014;21(3):472–478
KEYWORDS:
ABSTRACT:
The main objective of the study was to assess particulate matter (PM) exposure levels for both the farmer and the veterinarian during different operational tasks in pig-fattening houses, and to estimate their exposure levels on a daily working basis (time-weighted average (TWA)). The measured PM fractions were: inhalable and respirable PM, PM10, PM2.5 and PM1. The effects of pig age, pen floor type (conventional or low emission surface) and cleaning of the pens on the personal PM exposure were also investigated. Indoor concentrations of NH[sub]3[/sub], CH[sub]4[/sub], and CO[sub]2[/sub] were additionally measured during some operational tasks. The results showed that personal exposure levels can become extremely high during some operational tasks performed by the farmer or veterinarian. The highest concentration levels were observed during feed shovelling and blood sampling, the lowest during the weighing of the pigs. For the farmer, the estimated TWA exposure levels of inhalable and respirable PM were 6.0 and 0.29 mg m[sup] -3[/sup] , respectively. These exposure levels for the veterinarian were, respectively, 10.6 and 0.74 mg m[sup] -3[/sup] . The PM concentration levels were mainly determined by the performed operational tasks. There was no significant effect of pig age, pen floor type, nor cleaning of the pens on the personal exposure levels.
eISSN:1898-2263
ISSN:1232-1966