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The Design and Use of the Personal Environmental Sampling Backpack (PESB II) for Activity-Specific Exposure Monitoring of Career Pig Barn Workers

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

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 11(3): 315-324. (doi: 10.13031/2013.18574) @2005
Authors:   I. I. Wenger, C. A. Ouellette, J. J. R. Feddes, S. E. Hrudey
Keywords:   Biosecurity, Exposure assessment, Personal Environmental Sampling Backpack, Personal exposure monitoring, PESB II, Pig barn worker

Career pig barn workers in large confinement barns are exposed to airborne contaminants that need to be quantified. Monitoring instrumentation had to be sanitized to satisfy the biosecurity entrance requirements for pig barns. We satisfied this requirement with the development of a portable Personal Environmental Sampling Backpack (PESB). A pilot study was conducted with the original PESB after which modifications were made to construct the PESB II. The objective of the present study was to modify the PESB to create a monitoring system that is acceptable to workers, accurate, able to collect and store data reliably, and transferable from one animal confinement operation to another. A CO2 sensor with a higher detection range was incorporated into the new instrumentation, H2S monitoring capability was added, and improvements were made to the amount of data the new PESB II instrumentation could store. Compared to the original PESB, the PESB II has a lower mass and volume (reduced by 46% and 70%, respectively), a wider range of CO2 measurement capability, an H2S sensor, a data logger with more data capacity for 11.5 h of real-time monitoring, and a high level of worker acceptability. Apart from revealing a problem with H2S cross-reacting with the NH3 sensor, the PESB II system measured all other parameters reliably and accurately while allowing disinfection to meet stringent biosecurity protocols.

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