Chronic respiratory symptoms of poultry farmers and model-based estimates of long-term dust exposure
More details
Hide details
SEPIA-Sante, Baud, France
Anses-French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety, Ploufragan, France
Mutualité sociale agricole de Bretagne, Fédération d’Armorique, Saint Brieuc, France
Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire (CHRU) de Brest, Brest, France
Corresponding author
Marie-Thérèse Guillam   

SEPIA-Sante, Baud, France
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2013;20(2):307-311
The airborne contaminant exposure levels experienced by poultry farmers have raised concerns about the possible health hazards associated with them. Thus, a longitudinal project was instituted in France to monitor these exposures in poultry workers and to evaluate the long-term effect on health.

Sixty-three workers in two different poultry housing systems were included (33 from floor-based systems and 30 from cage-based systems). Personal dust concentrations (over 2 days) and activity patterns (over 14 days) were collected and then modeled to obtain average long-term estimates. Health data were collected by questionnaire.

The mean daily time spent in the cage system was more than 2 hours longer than in the floor system. Two main common tasks accounted for ~70% of this time. Dust concentrations were higher in the floor system than in the cage system. The concentrations for the 14 days of known activity patterns estimated using the statistical model agreed well with the measured values. Several chronic respiratory symptoms were significantly associated with the high levels of long-term exposure estimated by the model. The highest risk was for chronic bronchitis symptoms (>4-fold higher for exposures of 0.1 mg/m3 of respirable dust).

The presented modeling strategy can be used to estimate the long-term average personal exposure to respirable dust, and to study the association between dust exposure and chronic respiratory symptoms. This population of workers will be followed-up in subsequent examinations (3 years later) to determine whether the predictive model is valid, and whether long-term dust exposure is related to the incidence of respiratory symptoms and changes in pulmonary functions.

Radon K, Danuser B, Iverson M, 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: 207–213.
Żukiewicz-Sobczak W, Cholewa G, Krasowska E, Zwoliński J, Sobczak P, Zawiślak K, Chmielewska-Badora J, Piątek J, Wojtyła A. Pathogenic fungi in the work environment of organic and conventional farmers. Postep Derm Alergol 2012; XXIX, 4: 256–262.
Simpson JCG, Niven RM, Pickering CAC, et al. Comparative personal exposures to organic dusts and endotoxin. Ann Occup Hyg. 1999; 43: 107–115.
Basista KM, Filipek B. Allergy to propolis in Polish beekeepers. Postep Derm Alergol 2012; XXIX, 6: 440–445.
Radon K, Danuser B, Iversen M, et al. Air contaminants in different European farming environments. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2002; 9: 41–8.
Ellen HH, Bottcher RW, von Wachenfelt E, et al. Dust levels and control methods in poultry houses. Agric Saf Health. 2000; 6: 275–282.
Larsson BM, Larsson K, Malmberg P, et al. Airway responses in naïve subjects to exposure in poultry houses: comparison between cage rearing system and alternative rearing system for laying hens. Am J Ind Med. 1999; 35: 142–149.
Official Conference report of the American Thoracic Society. Respiratory health hazards in agriculture. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1998; 158: S1–76.
Basista K, Filipek B, Sodzawiczny K. Bee pollen allergy in Polish beekeepers and their families. Postep Derm Alergol 2012; XXIX, 5: 343–347.
Preller L, Kromhout H, Heederik D, et al. Modeling long-term average exposure in occupational exposure- response analysis. Scand J Work Environ Health. 1995; 21: 504–512.
Altman DG, Bland JM. Measurement in medicine: the analysis of method comparison studies. Statistician. 1983; 32: 307–317.
Huchon G, Vergnenègre A, Neukirch F, et al. Chronic bronchitis among French adults: high prevalence and underdiagnosis. Eur Respir J. 2002; 20: 806–812.
Radon K, Weber C, Iversen M, et al. Exposure assessment and lung function in pig and poultry farmers. Occup Environ Med. 2001; 58: 405–410.
Simpson JC, Niven RM, Pickering CA, et al. Prevalence and predictors of work related respiratory symptoms in workers exposed to organic dusts. Occup Environ Med. 1998; 55: 668–672.
Thelin A, Tegler O, Rylander R. Lung reactions during poultry handling related to dust and bacterial endotoxin levels. Eur J Respir Dis. 1984; 65: 266–71.
Kirychuk SP, Senthilselvan A, Dosman JA, et al. Respiratory symptoms and lung function in poultry confinement workers in Western Canada. Can Respir J. 2003; 10: 375–380.
Kirychuk SP, Dosman JA, Reynolds SJ, et al. Total dust and endotoxin in poultry operations: comparison between cage and floor housing and respiratory effects in workers. JOEM. 2006; 48: 741–748.
Huneau-Salaün A, Le Bouquin S, Bex-Capelle V, et al. Endotoxin concentration in poultry houses for laying hens kept in cages or in alternative housing systems. British Poultry ScI. 2012; 52(5): 523–530.
Lembke B, Janson C, Norback D, et al. High risk of adult-onset asthma and work-related wheeze in farmers despite low prevalence of asthma in young farmers. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2004; 8: 1285–91.
Ege MJ, Mayer M, Normand AC, et al. Exposure to Environmental Microorganisms and Childhood Asthma. N Engl J Med 2011; 364: 701–709.
Oleś D, Szczepankiewicz A, Wołuń-Cholewa M, Butowska W, Sobkowiak P, Kycler Z, Warchoł J, Bręborowicz J. Does concentration influence viability of the bronchial epithelial cell line chronically exposed to antiasthmatic drugs? Postep Derm Alergol 2012; XXIX, 5: 363–368.
Donham KJ, Cumro D, Reynolds SJ, et al. Dose-response relationships between occupational aerosol exposures and cross-shift declines of lung function in poultry workers: recommendations for exposure limits. JOEM. 2000; 42: 260-269.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top