Using the same principles that have been used to scrub smoke stacks for decades, pork producers now have access to technology that can reduce in-barn dust levels by between 60 percent and 80 percent, according to

The new technology is called electrostatic particle ionization, or EPI. “We charge the airspace in a confined feeding structure with negative ions,” explains John Baumgartner, president of Baumgartner Environics. “Those ions quickly polarize any particle in the air, making that dust particle into a little magnet. It then wants to ground out to any grounded service." Lower dust levels lead to improved animal health.

"If for example, we're removing 60 percent of the dust, at the same time, we're going to be removing about 55 percent of the ammonia and other gases that adsorb to the dust particle. We're also going to remove about 65 percent of pathogens, like bacteria, that also attach or adsorb to a dust particle," he explains.

Studies indicate that average daily gain in nursery pigs increases by around 13 percent. Baumgartner notes reduced dust levels also create an improved environment for farmers and farm employees.

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