There is need to identify and quantify the contribution of different sources to airborne particulate matter (PM) emissions from animal houses. To this end, we compared the chemical and morphological characteristics of fine and coarse PM from known sources collected front animal houses with the characteristics of on-farm fine and coarse airborne PM using two methods: classification rules based on decision trees and multiple linear regression. Fourteen different farms corresponding to seven different housing systems for poultry and pigs were sampled during winter. A total of 28 fine and 28 coarse on-farm airborne PM samples were collected, together with a representative sample of each known source per farm (56 known source samples in total). Source contributions were calculated as relative percentage contributions in particle numbers and then estimated in particle mass. Based on particle numbers, results showed that in poultry houses, most on-farm airborne PM originated from feathers (ranging from 4% to 43% in fine PM and from 6% to 35% in coarse PM) and manure (ranging from 9% to 85% in fine PM and from 30% to 94% in coarse PM). For pigs, most on-farm airborne PM originated from manure (ranging from 70% to 98% in fine PM and from 41% to 94% in coarse PM). Based on particle mass, for poultry most on-farm airborne PM still originated from feathers and manure; for pigs, however, most PM originated from skin and manure. Feed had a negligible contribution to on-farm airborne PM compared with other sources. Results presented in this study improve the understanding of sources of PM in different animal housing systems, which may be valuable when choosing optimal PM reduction techniques.
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