October 01, 2003

Public Health

Airborne antimicrobials cause concern Researchers have discovered that antimicrobials given to pigs in feed can end up in dust clouds that swirl inside swine housing. While past studies have found farm-derived antimicrobials in waterways and food products, the new study, published online June 18 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, now finds that these drugs can also spread through the air. Swine housing dust originates from feed, bedding, feces, and the animals themselves. Research has shown that veterinarians and other people who work at such operations develop severe respiratory problems from exposure to dust that contains microorganisms, endotoxins, and allergens ( see JAVMA , Sept. 15, 2003 , page 758 ). According to resea ...

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