Maaskant, A., Janssen, I., Wouters, I. M. et al. 2022. Assessment of indoor air quality for group-housed macaques (Macaca spp.). Animals 12(14), 1750.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is strongly associated with animal health and wellbeing. To identify possible problems of the indoor environment of macaques (Macaca spp.), we assessed the IAQ. The temperature (°C), relative humidity (%) and concentrations of inhalable dust (mg/m3), endotoxins (EU/m3), ammonia (ppm) and fungal aerosols were measured at stationary fixed locations in indoor enclosures of group-housed rhesus (Macaca mulatta) and cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis). In addition, the personal exposure of caretakers to inhalable dust and endotoxins was measured and evaluated. Furthermore, the air circulation was assessed with non-toxic smoke, and the number of times the macaques sneezed was recorded. The indoor temperature and relative humidity for both species were within comfortable ranges. The geometric mean (GM) ammonia, dust and endotoxin concentrations were 1.84 and 0.58 ppm, 0.07 and 0.07 mg/m3, and 24.8 and 6.44 EU/m3 in the rhesus and cynomolgus macaque units, respectively. The GM dust concentrations were significantly higher during the daytime than during the nighttime. Airborne fungi ranged between 425 and 1877 CFU/m3. Personal measurements on the caretakers showed GM dust and endotoxin concentrations of 4.2 mg/m3 and 439.0 EU/m3, respectively. The number of sneezes and the IAQ parameters were not correlated. The smoke test revealed a suboptimal air flow pattern. Although the dust, endotoxins and ammonia were revealed to be within accepted human threshold limit values (TLV), caretakers were exposed to dust and endotoxin levels exceeding existing occupational reference values.

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