A new study has found that hydrogen sulfide gas levels in hog barns often reach levels that are dangerous to the health of workers, according to a report from the Prairie Swine Centre in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Researcher Stephane Lemay evaluated worker exposure to the potentially deadly gas while performing normal tasks such as pulling plugs to manure pits or power washing rooms.

She took measurements over two seasons in all parts of the barns. In many cases, the gas levels recorded were well above recommended maximum levels.

"We have measured from 50 to 200 parts per million (ppm) of hydrogen sulfide and in some cases we have exceeded the limit of the monitors," says Lemay. Monitors are able to monitor up to 1,000 ppm.

She advises the use of hydrogen sulfide monitors in hog buildings to apprise workers of the levels present when manure is handled.

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