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Ann Agric Environ Med 2006, 13, 87-91

AMBIENT ENDOTOXIN LEVEL IN AN AREA WITH INTENSIVE LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION

Anja Schulze1, 2, Rob van Strien1, Vera Ehrenstein1, Rudolf Schierl1,
Helmut Kuchenhoff3, Katja Radon1

1Institute for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Unit for Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology &
Net Teaching, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany
2GSF-National Research Centre for Environment and Health, Institute of Epidemiology, Neuherberg, Germany
3Institute of Statistics, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany

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Schulze A, van Strien R, Ehrenstein V, Schierl R, Küchenhoff H, Radon K: Ambient endotoxin level in an area with intensive livestock production. Ann Agric Environ Med 2006, 13, 87-91.

Abstract: High levels of endotoxin are found inside and near to animal houses. However, there is a lack of data on environmental endotoxin in areas with intensive animal production facilities. We conducted a cross-sectional study of respiratory health in two villages of Lower Saxony with intensive livestock production. We assessed the level of endotoxin exposure in the backyards of 32 participants with two 24-hours measurements of inhalable fraction (one in winter and one in summer). The geometric mean (geometric standard deviation) of the levels of endotoxin varied between 2.0 (2.9) EU/m3 in winter and 2.9 (2.4) EU/m3 in summer. Potential predictors - season, sampling sites, and weather conditions - explained 24% of the variability in ambient endotoxin concentration in the study area. The results indicate that, compared with urban residents, exposure to endotoxin is greater among people living in rural areas with intensive animal production. This might affect their respiratory health. However, these exposures are characterized by a large spatial variability.

Address for correspondence: PD Dr. Katja Radon, MSc, Unit for Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology & Net Teaching, Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Ziemssenstr. 1; 80336 Munich, Germany.
E-mail: katja.radon@med.uni-muenchen.de

Key words: bioaerosol, endotoxin, environmental exposure, Lower Saxony Lung Study.


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