Among other factors (eg, feed), bedding material has an important effect on stable air quality with respect to airborne particle formation. This study was designed to establish which material is suited to create an improved stable environment for horses. First, the following materials were analyzed under standardized conditions in a laboratory experiment: wheat straw, dry wood shavings, hemp shives, linen shives, wheat straw pellets, paper cuttings (unprinted newspaper). The second investigation was carried out under in situ conditions in which three of these bedding materials (wheat straw, wood shavings, and straw pellets) were analyzed under practical conditions. In both experiments, airborne particle concentrations were detected online with the gravimetrically measuring analyzer TEOM 1400a (Rupprecht & Patashnick Co., Franklin, MA). In the laboratory experiment, the TEOM was equipped successively with different inlets to measure the particle fractions PM 1 , PM 2.5 , PM 10 , and PM 20 . During the in situ experiment, only the fraction PM 10 was detected. In the laboratory experiment, hemp and linen had the highest generation of airborne particles in all fractions. The lowest particle generation was detected with straw pellets. Results of the in situ investigation supported results of the laboratory experiment with respect to mean particle generation of straw pellets. With an average of 111.2 ± 149.2 μg/m 3 , it was significantly lower than the mean particle generation of wheat straw with 227.5 ± 280.8 μg/m 3 . The particle generation of wood shavings had an average of 140.9 ± 141.9 μg/m 3 and also was significantly lower than the generation by wheat straw. An activity-correlated variation of particle concentrations was found. In conclusion, taking both experiments into consideration, straw pellets seemed to be suitable for horse stables, to promote an improvement in the stable climate in relation to airborne particle formation.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.