Spatiotemporal Variations of Bioaerosols in the Vicinity of an Animal Feeding Operation Facility in the US


Bioaerosol emissions from animal feeding operation (AFO) facilities are of increasing interest due to the magnitude of the emissions and their potential health effect on local communities. There is limited information about fate and transport of AFO bioaerosol emissions. In this study, concentrations of airborne bacteria and fungi were measured at four ambient stations in four wind directions surrounding an egg production farm through winter, spring and summer using Andersen six-stage samplers. Mean concentrations of ambient bacteria and fungi ranged from 8.7 × 102 CFU m-3 to 1.3 × 103 CFU m-3 and from 2.8 × 102 CFU m-3 to 1.4 × 103 CFU m-3, respectively. Ambient bacterial concentrations were not significantly different over the seasons, while ambient fungal concentrations were the highest in summer and the lowest in winter. There were significant differences between downwind and upwind bacterial concentrations (p < 0.0001). Downwind bacterial and fungal concentrations responded differently to the influencing factors. Bacterial concentrations were quadratically correlated with wind vector (combined effects of wind speed and direction) and emission rate, were positively correlated with temperature, and were negatively correlated with solar radiation. Fungal concentrations were positively correlated with temperature, RH, and emission rate, and were negatively correlated with wind vector.

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Hu, D. , Wang-Li, L. , Simmons III, O. , Classen, J. and Osborne, J. (2015) Spatiotemporal Variations of Bioaerosols in the Vicinity of an Animal Feeding Operation Facility in the US. Journal of Environmental Protection, 6, 614-627. doi: 10.4236/jep.2015.66056.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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