Powder particle size and health protection of workers in the preparation of feed for livestock


  • Giorgio Miscetti Azienda Sanitaria USLUMBRIA1 Perugia
  • Patrizia Bodo Azienda Sanitaria USLUMBRIA1 Perugia
  • Patrizia Garofani Azienda Sanitaria USLUMBRIA1 Perugia
  • Alice Miscetti Consulta umbra per la prevenzione. Perugia
  • Roberto Maraini La Veterinaria Perugia
  • Chiara Venturi La Veterinaria. Perugia
  • Giorgio Magni La Veterinaria. Perugia
  • Lea Romano Garganella La Veterinaria. Perugia




feed, dust, premix, prevention


The feed industry has grown considerably over the past few years in terms of both the quantities of feed produced and the number of workers in the sector, who are exposed every day to a risk of inhaling multiple substances present in the dust,
some of which are toxicologically active and even carcinogenic. This is one of the reasons for the appearance on the market of products called technological premixes, which meet some strict technical specifications (less than 5% of particles with a diameter of less than 100 mm, no particles with a diameter of less than 50 mm, resistance to mechanical and thermal stress) and which, by reducing the dispersion of ultrafine particles, also reduce the risk of respiratory absorption of toxicologically active substances by the workers.
We thus decided to determine in the field the levels of contamination present during the use of technological premixes by studying through environmental sampling both the trend of the inhalable and respirable fractions of the dust present and that of some trace elements (Mn, Cu, Co, Zn and Se) contained in it.
The results showed that, during the normal production process, the use of technological premixes develops little dust, above all that consisting of ultrafine particles, with a respirable fraction of about 15% of the inhalable dust) and that this trend is also followed, though to a less homogeneous degree, by the respirable dust of the active ingredients taken into consideration.
The authors thus conclude by underlining the fact that, in addition to all the other measures laid down in the occupational health and safety legislation, the use of technological premixes may represent a useful prevention measure against the chemical risk.



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