Bacterial plume emanating from the air surrounding swine confinement operations

Christopher F. Green, Shawn G. Gibbs, Patrick M. Tarwater, Linda C. Mota, Pasquale V. Scarpino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to evaluate the levels of bacteria in the air plume immediately upwind at 25 m and downwind at locations 25 m, 50 m, 100 m, and 150 m from a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO). It was hypothesized that this would give insight into determining the maximal distance that bacterial organisms release from a CAFO could travel, which would be important in determining the optimal siting distance for future CAFO in relation to high population areas. The Andersen two-stage sampler was used to collect all of the bacterial samples from the animal confinement facilities. The data show a marked increase in bacterial CFUs/m3 inside the facility (18,132 CFU/m3 average) versus upwind (63 CFU/m3 average) and a steady downwind decrease out to approximately 150 m. Staphylococcus aureus was found to account for 76% of the organisms recovered. We conclude that the optimal placement of a swine CAFO would be at least 200 m from a residential area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental hygiene
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacteria
  • Bioaerosols
  • Confined/concentrated animal feeding operation
  • Staphylococcus aureus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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