Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2009;35(5):376-383    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1347

Evaluation of respiratory effects related to high-pressure cleaning in a piggery with and without robot pre-cleaning

by Hiel D, von Schéele I, Sundblad B-M, Larsson K, Palmberg L

Objective Exposure in connection with cleaning piggeries induces airway inflammation. The aim of this study was to compare the health effects related to two different cleaning processes in a piggery.

Methods In a cross-over study design, 12 subjects were randomly exposed for three hours during the cleaning of a piggery with a high pressure water jet, with and without pre-cleaning using a robot. We assessed lung function, bronchial responsiveness, symptoms, body temperature, and exhaled nitric oxide, and performed blood sampling and nasal lavage before and after both exposures.

Results Compared with ordinary cleaning without the use of a robot, pre-cleaning with a robot significantly reduced the increase in bronchial responsiveness (P=0.049), total cell number (P=0.0029), and pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-8 level [P=0.016]) in nasal lavage, and diminished the increase in neutrophils (P=0.0029) in the blood.

Conclusion Pre-cleaning of a piggery with a robot reduced exposure to dust and endotoxin, and resulted in an attenuation of the increase in bronchial responsiveness and the airway inflammatory response compared pre-cleaning without a robot.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2006;32(2):145-153  2002;28(4):256-263