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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Atmospheric Pollutants and Trace Gases

Coarse Particulate Matter Emissions from Cattle Feedlots in Australia


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 39 No. 3, p. 791-798
    Received: June 26, 2009

    * Corresponding author(s): sean.mcginn@agr.gc.ca
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  1. S. M. McGinn *a,
  2. T. K. Fleschb,
  3. D. Chenc,
  4. B. Crennab,
  5. O. T. Denmeadd,
  6. T. Naylore and
  7. D. Rowellc
  1. a Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, AB, Canada T1J 4B1
    b Dep. of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G 2E3
    c Facility of Land and Food Resources, Univ. of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3010
    d CSIRO Land and Water, Canberra, ACT, Australia 2601
    e Dep. of Chemistry, Univ. of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia 2522. Assigned to Associate Editor Rod Venterea


Open cattle feedlots are a source of air pollutants that include particular matter (PM). Over 24 h, exposure to ambient concentrations of 50 μg m−3 of the coarse-sized fraction PM (aerodynamic diameter <10 μm [PM10]) is recognized as a health concern for humans. The objective of our study was to document PM10 concentration and emissions at two cattle feedlots in Australia over several days in summer. Two automated samplers were used to monitor the background and in-feedlot PM10 concentrations. At the in-feedlot location, the PM10 emission was calculated using a dispersion model. Our measurements revealed that the 24-h PM10 concentrations on some of the days approached or exceeded the health criteria threshold of 50 μg m−3 used in Australia. A key factor responsible for the generation of PM10 was the increased activity of cattle in the evening that coincided with peak concentrations of PM10 (maximum, 792 μg m−3) between 1930 and 2000 h. Rain coincided with a severe decline in PM10 concentration and emission. A dispersion model used in our study estimated the emission of PM10 between 31 and 60 g animal−1 d−1 These data contribute to needed information on PM10 associated with livestock to develop results-based environmental policy.

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