Digital monitoring of dust release in a horse stable, depending on ventilation opening area and bedding type

Digital monitoring of dust release in a horse stable, depending on ventilation opening area and bedding type

Fallstudie zur digitalen Aufzeichnung der Staubentwicklung in Abhängigkeit von der Lüftungsöffnung und der Einstreu in einem Pferdestall

Herholz C, Kocher J, Küng P, Burren A

DOI: 10.21836/PEM20200405
Year: 2020
Volume: 36
Issue: 4
Pages: 316–324

The effect of three different ventilation configurations on dust exposure in a horse stable with three different bedding options was evaluated. The three ventilation configurations were: A = open window (10,179 cm2 opening), B = open door (23,415 cm2 opening), and C = open door and window (33,594 cm2 opening). The experimental box was occupied by a pony and dust release was recorded using a digital monitoring system (SmartHorse®, MUUTU AG). The impact on dust release (measured as particulate matter, PM 2.5 and PM 10) of two different straw qualities (wheat and barley) and of wood shavings was investigated at two measurement heights (53 and 130 cm). A statistical model was used to take into account the effects of air temperature and humidity and the activity of the pony on dust release. The effect of the different ventilation configurations on the airborne particulate matter (PM 2.5) was most obvious at a height of 53 cm. Significant differences (p < 0.05) of the PM 2.5 concentrations estimated by the model were observed between configurations A (open window) and B (open door) for wheat straw (A = 3.6 μg/m3, B = 5.6 μg/m3) and for barley straw (A = 2.9 μg/m3, B = 5.5 μg/m3). When both door and window where open (C), the PM 2.5 concentration at 53 cm height was 6.0 μg/m3 for wheat straw, 4.9 μg/m3 for barley straw and 9.6 μg/m3 for wood shavings. With ventilation configurations B and C, there was no significant difference in PM 2.5 release between the two straw qualities. Wood shavings produced the highest PM 2.5 concentration in configuration C, and the values were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those measured with the two types of straw. At 53 cm height particulate matter (PM 10) concentrations differed significantly (p < 0.05) between wood shavings and wheat straw only with ventilation configuration C. However, regardless of the differences observed between the various ventilation configurations and bedding materials, the dust release measured as PM 2.5 and PM 10 values (μg/m3) were generally low. The guideline values of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the maximum mean daily dust exposure of humans are 25 μg/m3 for PM 2.5 and 50 μg/m3 for PM 10. In the current study, both the mean measured values and the model estimates were lower than the recommended WHO maximal values in all three ventilation configurations, for both measurement heights and all bedding types. Assessing the climate of a stable is a complex process which is influenced by multiple factors. Digital monitoring systems make climate parameters visible and evaluable. In combination with adequate bedding material, low-dust feeding and appropriate stable management, they can therefore contribute substantially to the wellbeing and health of both animals and people.