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Atmospheric Emissions of Particulates (PM10) from Agriculture in the United Kingdom

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  024217,  2002 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.10582) @2002
Authors:   C.M. Wathes, V.R. Phillips, R.W.Sneath, S. Brush, H. M. ApSimon
Keywords:   Atmospheric Emissions, Particulates, Agriculture, Pollution, Bioaerosols

There is a growing concern about exposure to fine particulate aerosols (PM10) causing ill health in the general public. To date, evidence has been gathered from urban sources: in this paper, we describe the results from the first study of atmospheric emissions of particulates from agricultural sources in the United Kingdom. A crude inventory of PM10 emissions was compiled from published data. The estimated annual emission of PM10 from UK agricultural sources is 16.9 kt, with lower and upper bands of 10.0 and 23.7 kt respectively, which is significant viz other sources such as motorcars. The major sources are housed livestock (especially poultry), arable and grassland farming and combustion processe; pollens are excluded from this inventory. Agricultural particulates have different chemical, physical and biological characteristics compared with urban sources but may still pose a potential hazard to public health. With the exception of pollinosis, there is conflicting evidence whether the rural population is at special risk from agricultural bioaerosols, over and above that arising from their general contribution to PM10. Furthermore, the extensive atmospheric dilution of particulate emissions in the countryside lowers the likely risk to the rural population.

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