Short term exposure to low amounts of airway irritants in a swine confinement building and inflammatory markers in blood and exhaled air
More details
Hide details
Department of Occupational Medicine, St. Olavs University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, Department of Clinical Sciences in Lund, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Department of Public Health and General Practice, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
Bjørn Lyngen   

Department of Occupational Medicine, St. Olavs University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2014;21(3):479–484
Introduction and objective:
Swine confinement buildings are known to contain large concentrations of airway irritants, and a number of studies have shown acute inflammatory effects in previously unexposed subjects when introduced to the environment in such buildings. However, studies comparing different methods of assessing such reactions are lacking, and it is not known if a measurable response could be found at lower exposure rates. The purpose of this study was to investigate exposure levels in a Norwegian swine confinement building, the airway response to such exposure, and to compare invasive and non-invasive methods of response measurement.

Material and Methods:
Twelve medical students who were previously unexposed to swine dust stayed in a swine confinement building in Norway for 4 hours, and underwent measurements before and after the start of exposure. The same measurements were also performed beforehand, on the same weekday without exposure, in such a manner that the subjects were their own controls.

The exposure assessment showed considerably lower concentrations of organic dust and endotoxin than earlier studies. However, small, but significant increases in markers of airway inflammation, were found.

Airway response can be measured after lower exposure to airborne irritants in swine confinement buildings than previously known. Further research is needed to assess whether this finding can be utilized for preventive purposes.

Mc Donnell PE, Coggins MA, Hogan VJ, Fleming GT. Exposure assessment of airborne contaminants in the indoor environment of Irish swine farms. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2008;15(2): 323–326.
Bønløkke JH, Mériaux A, Duchaine C, Godbout S, Cormier Y. Seasonal variations in work-related health effects in swine farm workers. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2009;16(1): 43–52.
Sun G, Guo H, Peterson J, Predicala B, Laguë C. Diurnal odor, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide emission profiles of confined swine grower/finisher rooms. J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2008; 58(11): 1434–1448.
Malmberg P, Larsson K. Acute exposure to swine dust causes bronchial hyperresponsiveness in healthy subjects. Eur Respir J. 1993; 6(3): 400–404.
Larsson KA, Eklund AG, Hansson LO, Isaksson BM, Malmberg PO. Swine dust causes intense airways inflammation in healthy subjects. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1994; 150(4): 973–977.
Cormier Y, Duchaine C, Israël-Assayag E, Bédard G, Laviolette M, Dosman J. Effects of repeated swine building exposures on normal naive subjects. Eur Respir J. 1997;10(7): 1516–1522.
Sjögren B, Wang Z, Larsson BM, Larsson K, Larsson PH, Westerholm P. Increase in interleukin-6 and fibrinogen in peripheral blood after swine dust inhalation. Scand J Work Environ Health. 1999; 25(1): 39–41.
Gamage LN, Charavaryamath C, Swift TL, Singh B. Lung inflammation following a single exposure to swine barn air. J Occup Med Toxicol. 2007; 2: 18.
Romberger DJ, Bodlak V, Von Essen SG, Mathisen T, Wyatt TA. Hog barn dust extract stimulates IL-8 and IL-6 release in human bronchial epithelial cells via PKC activation. J Appl Physiol. 2002; 93(1): 289–296.
Demanche A, Bønløkke JH, Beaulieu MJ, Assayag EI, Cormier Y. Swine confinement buildings: effects of airborne particles and settled dust on airway smooth muscles. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2009; 16(2): 233–238.
O’Sullivan S, Dahlen SE, Larsson K, Larsson BM, Malmberg P, Kumlin M, et al. Exposure of healthy volunteers to swine house dust increases formation of leukotrienes, prostaglandin D2, and bronchial responsiveness to methacholine. Thorax. 1998; 53(12): 1041–1046.
Iversen M, Pedersen B. Relation between respiratory symptoms, type of farming, and lung function disorders in farmers. Thorax. 1990; 45(12): 919–923.
Iversen M, Dahl R. Working in swine-confinement buildings causes an accelerated decline in FEV 1 : a 7-yr follow-up of Danish farmers. Eur Respir J. 2000; 16(3): 404–408.
Radon K, Danuser B, Iversen M, Jörres R, Monso E, Opravil U, et al. Respiratory symptoms in European animal farmers. Eur Respir J. 2001; 17(4): 747–754.
Radon K, Monso E, Weber C, Danuser B, Iversen M, Opravil U, et al. Prevalence and risk factors for airway diseases in farmers--summary of results of the European Farmers’ Project. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2002; 9(2): 207–213.
Sundblad BM, Larsson BM, Palmberg L, Larsson K. Exhaled nitric oxide and bronchial responsiveness in healthy subjects exposed to organic dust. Eur Respir J. 2002; 20(2): 426–431.
Do R, Bartlett KH, Dimich-Ward H, Chu W, Kennedy SM. Biomarkers of airway acidity and oxidative stress in exhaled breath condensate from grain workers. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2008; 178(10): 1048–1054.
American Thoracic Society; European Respiratory Society. ATS/ERS recommendations for standardized procedures for the online and offline measurement of exhaled lower respiratory nitric oxide and nasal nitric oxide, 2005. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005; 171(8): 912–930.
Miller MR, Hankinson J, Brusasco V, Burgos F, Casaburi R, Coates A, et al. Standardisation of Spirometry. Eur Respir J. 2005;26(2):319–338.
Tufvesson E, Bjermer L. Methodological improvements for measuring eicosanoids and cytokines in exhaled breath condensate. Respir Med. 2006; 100(1): 34–38.
Clauss A. Gerinnungsphysiologische Schnellmethode zur Bestimmung des Fibrinogens. Acta Haemotol 1957; 17(4): 237–246.
Kenny L, Chung K, Dilworth M, Hammond C, Wynn Jones J, Shreeve Z, et al. Applications of low-cost, dual-fraction dust samplers. Ann Occup Hyg. 2001; 45(1): 35–42.
Tufvesson E, van Weele LJ, Ekedahl H, Bjermer L. Levels of cysteinyl-leukotrienes in exhaled breath condensate are not due to saliva contamination. Clin Respir J. 2010; 4(2): 83–88.
Vinzents PS. Mass distribution of inhalable aerosols in swine buildings. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1994; 55(10): 977–980.
Taylor CD, Reynolds SJ. Comparison of a direct-reading device to gravimetric methods for evaluating organic dust aerosols in an enclosed swine production environment. Appl Occup Environ Hyg. 2001; 16(1): 78–83.
Hilt B, Qvenild T, Holme J, Svendsen K, Ulvestad B. Increase in interleukin-6 and fibrinogen after exposure to dust in tunnel construction workers. Occup Environ Med. 2002; 59(1): 9–12.
Samet JM, Rappold A, Graff D, Cascio WE, Berntsen JH, Huang YC, et al. Concentrated ambient ultrafine particle exposure induces cardiac changes in young healthy volunteers. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2009; 179(11): 1034–1042.
Borrill ZL, Starkey RC, Singh SD. Variability of exhaled breath condensate leukotriene B4 and 8-isoprostane in COPD patients. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2007; 2(1): 71–76.