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Open Access Review

Pulmonary effects of exposure to pig barn air

Chandrashekhar Charavaryamath and Baljit Singh*

Author Affiliations

Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences and Immunology Research Group, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada

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Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology 2006, 1:10  doi:10.1186/1745-6673-1-10

Published: 6 June 2006

Abstract

Swine production has undergone rapid transformation from family owned operation to a large scale industrial enterprise. Since increasing number of pigs are reared on a large scale in confined buildings, some of the swine barn workers may be employed to work eight hours per day. Swine barn workers suffer from higher incidences of impaired air flow and lung inflammation, which is attributed to high intensity and interrupted exposures to pig barn air. The air in these barns contains gases, dust, microbes and endotoxin with endotoxin being the major suspect as the cause of lung dysfunction. This review attempts to describe the current state of knowledge of incidences and mechanisms of pulmonary dysfunction following exposure to the barn air.