Prairie Swine Centre Study Examines Options for Reducing H2S Exposure

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1376. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 3 November 2003
clock icon 3 minute read
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 1376

Researchers at the Prairie Swine Centre are combining a variety of techniques to minimize the risk of hydrogen sulfide gas exposure within swine barns.

Hydrogen Sulfide gas monitoring studies have shown concentrations, as much as 60 times higher than maximum levels considered safe, can be emitted during tasks like pulling plugs or power washing rooms.

To combat this problem scientists have developed a remote plug pulling system to reduce worker exposure and they are combining that with a water spraying system designed to scrub H2S from the air.

Dr. Stephane Lemay says the goal is to provide options to help producers reduce the risk of H2S exposure.

"We are following the plug puller system. We have the system installed in two rooms over four plugs at the swine centre and we are measuring the H2S concentration we have above the plug when the plug is pulled and also the concentration that we have in the alleyway close to the winch where the operator will stand.

Obviously we don't have any exposure in the alleyway and we have sometimes a good level of H2S above the plug so the system seems to work in a good way.

We are also recording any kind of problems that may happen with the system by itself to be able to come up with further recommendations on the design.

With the water spraying system we have collected data in the lab. Basically we have looked at different kinds of water treatments that we could apply.

On that regard, we know that the best results that we have seen seem to be when we increase the pH of the water we spray within that tank".

Dr. Lemay says, while the remote plug pulling reduces worker exposure to H2S, the water spraying actually reduces concentrations so the two systems can be used together or they can be used independently.

He expects to have the H2S control study completed by the spring of 2005.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
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