Bioaerosol exposure by farm type in Korea
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Institute of Occupation Environment, Korean Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service, Republic of Korea (South)
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Republic of Korea (South)
Wonjin Institute for Occupational and Environmental Health, Republic of Korea (South)
Corresponding author
Soo-Jin Lee   

Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, 04763, Seoul, Korea (South)
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2022;29(1):38-43
Introduction and objective:
Bioaerosols exist in almost every environment and are known to be risk factors for a variety of diseases. Agricultural work involves high exposure to bioaerosols and its workplace concentrations affect the surrounding areas. The study evaluates bioaerosol concentrations in agricultural workplaces and residential areas according to farm type.

Material and methods:
In 2013–2015, a total of 381 samples were collected for endotoxin and microbial testing from three farm types: open field, greenhouse, and livestock facilities. Endotoxins were measured using a 37-mm glass fire filter connected to an air pump calibrated to 2 LPM. Microorganisms were measured using a gelatin filter and impaction (single-stage Andersen sampler).

The concentration of endotoxins and microorganisms at the livestock facilities was significantly higher than in the open fields and greenhouses (p<0.05). Among the livestock farms, the concentrations of endotoxins and gram-negative bacteria were highest at hog farms, and the concentrations of total bacteria and fungi were the highest in poultry houses. In both greenhouses and livestock facilities, the concentrations of bioaerosols were higher in the workplace than in a nearby residential area, and the difference in concentration was significantly greater in the case of livestock facilities.

The concentrations of bioaerosols in agricultural workplaces and nearby residential areas were higher than in the control and general areas. Therefore, measures should be taken to prevent exposure to bioaerosols at agricultural workplaces and their vicinities.

This work was carried out with the support of "Cooperative Research Program for Agriculture Science and Technology Development (Project No. PJ01426903)" Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea.
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