Occupational Asthma Reference
Smid T, Heederik D, Mensink G, Houba R, Boleij JS,
Exposure to dust, endotoxins, and fungi in the animal feed industry,
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J,
Keywords: oa, endotoxin, animal feed, grain, am
In the Dutch animal feed industry, approximately 6000 workers are exposed to organic dust, originating mainly from raw materials such as grain, pulses (peas and beans), and waste products from the vegetable oil and starch industries. In this study, 79 stationary dust samples and 530 personal dust samples from eight animal feed production facilities were analyzed. The stationary total dust samples showed gravimetric concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 25 mg/m3 (geometric mean [GM] 1.3 mg/m3). Concentrations of smaller particle fractions (respirable, thoracic, and inspirable dust) were considerably lower. Personal inspirable dust concentrations were considerably higher than stationary concentrations and were strongly related to job titles. Pooled personal inspirable dust concentrations ranged from 0.2 to 450 mg/m3 (GM = 2.4 mg/m3). After adjusting for differences between inspirable and total dust, 25% of the measurements exceeded the Dutch maximum allowed concentration (MAC) for total nuisance dust (10 mg/m3) and 42% exceeded the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists' threshold limit value for grain dust (4 mg/m3). Endotoxin concentrations ranged from 0.2 to 1870 ng/m3 inspirable dust (GM = 5.1 ng/m3). Endotoxin appeared to be less prevalent in respirable dust than in larger dust fractions. Concentrations in dust appeared to be related to stages in the production process. Colony-forming units (cfu) of fungi ranged from 130 to 15,300 cfu/m3 (GM = 2300 cfu/m3) and were in parallel measurements more strongly related to endotoxin concentrations than to dust concentrations. Clearly, workers in the Dutch animal feed industry are frequently exposed to dust levels above recommended Dutch and American levels. Exposure levels to endotoxin and to fungi are quantified.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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