Study Measures Dust Levels Downwind of Poultry Houses

US - A team at the University of Georgia has monitored dust levels downwind of modern, controlled-environment broiler houses.
calendar icon 1 August 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

Dust levels appear to be near background levels at distances greater than 30 metres from the exhaust fans of tunnel-ventilated broiler houses.

That is the main conclusion from a field study monitoring fine particulates downwind of these houses by researchers at the University of Georgia published in Journal of Applied Poultry Research.

Air emissions from animal feeding operations have become a growing concern for producers and their neighbours, according to John W. Worley and his colleagues. Much work has been done to quantify emission rates but little information has been provided about air quality downwind from these facilities.

The Athens study investigates levels of particulate matter ≤2.5µm in diameter as they dissipate from the exhaust fans of selected commercial, tunnel-ventilated, broiler houses in northeast Georgia.

Particulate matter ≤2.5µm in diameter was measured in real time using aerosol monitors and from a time-integrated basis using cyclone samplers. Data were taken over the last four weeks of a summer flock (considered a worst-case-scenario) and filtered to ensure enough data was present at each distance and time.

Based on these data, Worley and colleagues observed that there is a rapid reduction in fine particulate concentration as the distance from the source increases.

They added that, compared with nearby monitoring data, particulate levels appear to be near background levels at distances greater than 30 metres (100 feet) from the exhaust fans.


Worley J.W., L.P. Naeher, M. Czarick, B.D. Fairchild, C.W. Ritz and E. Irvin-Barnwell. 2013. Monitoring of fine particulates downwind of broiler houses - a field study. J. Appl. Poult. Res. 22(2):351-360. doi: 10.3382/japr.2012-00646

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