Distribution of particle and gas concentrations in swine gestation confined animal feeding operations

Thomas M. Peters, T. Renée Anthony, Craig Taylor, Ralph Altmaier, Kimberley Anderson, Patrick T. O'Shaughnessy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objectives:Dust mass concentrations, temperatures, and carbon dioxide concentrations were mapped in a modern, 1048-pen swine gestation barn in winter, spring, and summer.Methods:In each season, two technicians measured respirable mass concentrations with an aerosol photometer and temperatures and carbon dioxide concentrations with an indoor air quality monitor at 60 positions in the barn. Stationary photometers were also deployed to measure mass concentrations during mapping at five fixed locations.Results:In winter when building ventilation rates were low (center-barn mean air velocity = 0.34 m s -1, 68 fpm) to conserve heat within the barn, mass and carbon dioxide concentrations were highest (mass geometric mean, GM = 0.50mg m-3; CO2 GM = 2060 ppm) and fairly uniform over space (mass geometric standard deviation, GSD = 1.48; CO2 GSD = 1.24). Concentrations were lowest in summer (mass GM = 0.13mg m-3; CO2 GM = 610 ppm) when ventilation rates were high (center-barn mean air velocity = 0.99 m s -1, 196 fpm) to provide cooling. Spatial gradients were greatest in spring (mass GSD = 2.11; CO2 GSD = 1.50) with low concentrations observed near the building intake, increasing to higher concentrations at the building exhaust.Conclusions:Mass concentrations obtained in mapping were generally consistent with those obtained from stationary monitors. A moderately strong linear relationship (R2 = 0.60) was observed between the log of photometer-measured mass concentration and the log of carbon dioxide concentration, suggesting that carbon dioxide may be an inexpensive alternative to assessing air quality in a swine barn. These results indicate that ventilation can effectively reduce contaminant levels in addition to controlling temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1080-1090
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Occupational Hygiene
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health through funds supplied to the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health (U50 OH007548-06).


  • Aerosol mapping
  • Agricultural exposures
  • Particulate matter
  • Swine barn
  • Ventilation


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