VIDO Studies Demonstrate Safety of Air Quality Downwind of Swine Barns

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1205. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 24 March 2003
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Manitoba Pork Council

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1205

Air sampling studies conducted by the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization show air quality 600 meters downwind of a swine barn to be as high as two and a half kilometers upwind.

Several studies have shown there are compounds in dust, the most potent being endotoxins, that can have a negative effect on human respiratory health.

To assess the concentrations of those compounds in and around swine barns VIDO conducted air sampling studies at two sites, the first in 2001 and the second in 2002.

Program Manager for Vaccine Development Dr. Phil Willson says samples were taken 2.4 kilometers upwind of the barns as a fresh air reference and compared to samples taken less than one meter from the barn's ventilating fans and from 600 meters downwind.

"We found that the amount of endotoxin and the amount of dust, by weight, that we could find 600 metres downwind of the barn was not any different from what we could find in the fresh air. We looked at pre-seeding when there was still a hard surface on the soil, at the time of seeding when people were working up the soil and there was a bit more dust and the naturally present organisms in the air and then during the growing season. Those were the three different seasons that we did our study during. There was some variability among the sampling dates but there was no overall clear effect of the season on what we found and there was a significant effect of distance. Right next to the barn it was quite high and at a distance of 600 metres it was no different from what we were finding in the fresh air." Dr. Willson says we know high levels of endotoxin are a health risk but these were not found 600 metres downwind. He says we can be confident that the hazards associated with high dust levels within the swine facility are not present at that distance.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
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