Endotoxin exposure as a major determinant of lung function decline in pig farmers

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1998 Jan;157(1):15-8. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.157.1.9703087.


Exposure-response relationships for endotoxin as measured in dust and longitudinal decline in lung function were studied. A cohort of 171 pig farmers was followed over a 3-yr period. Long-term average exposure to dust and endotoxin was determined by personal monitoring in summer and winter, using data on farm characteristics and activities. Mean decline in FEV1 was 73 ml/yr and in FVC 55 ml/ yr. Long-term average exposure to dust was 2.63 mg/m3 (geometric SD [GSD] 1.30), and to endotoxin, 105 ng/m3 (GSD 1.5). Annual decline in FEV1 was significantly associated with endotoxin exposure. An increase in exposure with a factor 2 was associated with an extra decline of FEV1 of 19 ml/yr.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / etiology*
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / physiopathology
  • Animal Husbandry*
  • Animals
  • Dust*
  • Endotoxins / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / etiology*
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Seasons
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Swine*
  • Vital Capacity


  • Dust
  • Endotoxins