Indoor Air Pollutants and Swine Farming

F  DCIM 101OLYMP P2250759 resized 600More and more swine farmers have chosen to raise swine in indoor confinement buildings. This trend has been increasing over the past 20 years in Europe and the United States. This method of indoor farming has proven to be more profitable than traditional swine farming. It requires fewer employees thus reducing labor costs. Unfortunately this more economic way of farming has serious side effects on the employees’ health. Indoor air pollutants from these confinement buildings compromise the health of the employees. Multiple respiratory irritants include, but are not limited to chemicals, pesticides, dust, endotoxins (toxins associated with gram negative bacteria) and ammonia. These indoor air pollutants contribute to respiratory tract and systemic inflammation symptoms.

Studies have revealed respiratory inflammation characterized by increased numbers of lymphocytes, (a type of white blood cell) macrophages,( white blood cells that engulf and then digest cellular debris and pathogens) and neutrophils (the first immune cells to arrive at a site of infection). Indoor air pollutants inhaled by farm workers, office workers, veterinarians, and others that are exposed to these toxins have been known to cause acute respiratory symptoms such as bronchitis, asthma-like syndrome, or exacerbation of pre-existing asthma.

The use of respirators is inconsistent with workers in the indoor confinement buildings. Spraying canola oil is also used to reduce dust and has been shown to be effective in reducing some of the indoor air pollutants. Unfortunately this is not enough to reduce the many airborne toxins that exist in these swine confinement buildings.

Another more recent problem is farm workers contracting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and not reporting it. Doctors are not required to report these types of infections and too often the patients are not even diagnosed with MRSA until the infections do not respond to medication. MRSA is an airborne pathogen. These types of malignant pathogens combine with all the other indoor air pollutants in these buildings and spread disease among the live stock and employees. The ongoing doses of antibiotics given to animals to enhance rapid growth can make MRSA even more powerful.

Proper air filtration and purification, hand and surface cleansing and sanitation, and showering of employees, (before they return to their homes) can all help to reduce the spread of infection and reduce respiratory ailments incurred.

ZANDAIR™ products have the recognized technology that destroys many malignant microbes in ambient air. This technology is photocatalytic oxidation. We at Zandair™, Inc. want to help you make your indoor ambient air environment safe and healthy for you, your employees and animals. Contact us today with your questions and comments.

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