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Prairie Swine Centre is grateful for the assistance of the George Morris Centre in developing the economics portion of Pork Insight.

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Author(s): Kim, K.Y., H.J. Ko, H.L. Choi, H.T. Kim, Y.S. Kim, Y.M. Roh, C.M. Lee, C.N. Kim
Publication Date: January 1, 0000
Reference: Structures & Environment Division of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (2007) Vol. 50(2): 993−998

Summary:

When improperly ventilated, high-density piggeries offer poor indoor air quality (Carpenter, 1986). This problem is particularly true in high-confinement piggeries, which are increasingly common (Donham et al., 1984). Aerial contaminants in the air of piggeries can accumulate to levels damaging to the health of farmers (Crook et al., 1991) and pigs (Stombaugh et al., 1969; Malayer et al., 1988). Furthermore, this poor air quality prompts the accelerated deterioration of structures installed in the piggery (Bundy, 1984). Bongers et al. (1986) showed that lung function changes in farmers have been correlated to characteristics of the working environment, such as manual feeding and ventilation mode. Poor air quality, therefore, is a primary cause for concern in confinement piggeries (Wang et al., 2002). Various studies have been conducted in confinement piggeries to show the spatial distribution of aerial contaminants (Barber et al., 1991; Wang et al., 2002; Kim et al., 2005), the influence of environmental factors on aerial contaminants (Attwood et al., 1987; Heber et al., 1988; Kiekhaefer et al., 1995), and the exposure levels to hazardous substances and their association with observed respiratory disorders (Donham et al., 1986; Duchaine et al., 2000). However, there are few studies to date that simultaneously evaluate the exposure levels of the farmers and pigs to aerial contaminants in the confinement piggery and any correlations between them. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the actual concentrations of aerial contaminants in the breathing zones of the farmers and pigs, and to statistically verify their actual level of exposure and any correlations. The following aerial contaminants were evaluated: (1) odor concentration index and the gaseous compounds ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, (2) total dust and respirable dust, and (3) microbes, comprising total bacteria, fungi, and gram-negative bacteria. The data presented in the study were collected over 30 days, with sampling once every three days from April to June in 2005. Although the concentrations of all the aerial contaminants except for respirable dust and ammonia were higher in the breathing zone of the pigs than in that of farmers, the only significant differences found between farmersa

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