Monitoring particulate matter levels and climate conditions in a Greek sheep and goat livestock building
Atmospheric pollutants from livestock operations influence air quality inside livestock buildings and the air exhausted from them. The climate that prevails inside the building affects human and animal health and welfare, as well as productivity, while emissions from the building contribute to environmental pollution. The aim of this study was to examine the variation of two climatic parameters (namely temperature and relative humidity) and the levels of particulate matter of different sizes (PM10-PM2.5-PM1), as well as the relationships between them, inside a typical Greek naturally ventilated livestock building that hosts mainly sheep. The concentration of particles was recorded during a 45-day period (27/11-10/1), while temperature and relative humidity were observed during an almost 1-year period. The analysis revealed that the variation of outdoor weather conditions significantly influenced the indoor environment, as temperature and relative humidity inside the building varied in accordance to the outside climate conditions. Temperature remained higher indoors than outdoors during the winter and extremely low values were not recorded inside the building. However, the tolerable relative humidity levels recommended by the International Commission of Agricultural Engineering (CIGR) were fulfilled only in 47% of the hours during the almost 1-year period that was examined. This fact indicates that although temperature was satisfactorily controlled, the control of relative humidity was deficient. The concentration of particulate matter was increased during the cold winter days due to poor ventilation. The maximum daily average value of PM10, PM2.5 and PM1 concentration equaled to 363, 61 and 30 mu g/m(3) respectively. The concentration of the coarse particles was strongly influenced by the farming activities that were daily taking place in the building, the dust resuspension being considered as the dominant source. A significant part of the fine particles were secondary, which the production of could be attributed to an increase in relative humidity levels. It is concluded that measures have to be adopted in order to achieve sufficient ventilation and to reduce particulate matter levels.