Residential exposure to livestock farms and lung function in adolescence – The PIAMA birth cohort study

Pauline Kiss, Myrna M.T. de Rooij, Gerard H. Koppelman, Jolanda Boer, Judith M. Vonk, Roel Vermeulen, Lenny Hogerwerf, Hendrika A.M. Sterk, Anke Huss, Lidwien A.M. Smit, Ulrike Gehring*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: There is a growing interest in the impact of air pollution from livestock farming on respiratory health. Studies in adults suggest adverse effects of livestock farm emissions on lung function, but so far, studies involving children and adolescents are lacking. Objectives: To study the association of residential proximity to livestock farms and modelled particulate matter ≤10 μm (PM10) from livestock farms with lung function in adolescence. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study among 715 participants of the Dutch prospective PIAMA (Prevention and Incidence of Asthma and Mite Allergy) birth cohort study. Relationships of different indicators of residential livestock farming exposure (distance to farms, distance-weighted number of farms, cattle, pigs, poultry, horses and goats within 3 km; modelled atmospheric PM10 concentrations from livestock farms) with forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) and forced vital capacity (FVC) at age 16 were assessed by linear regression taking into account potential confounders. Associations were expressed per interquartile range increase in exposure. Results: Higher exposure to livestock farming was consistently associated with a lower FEV1, but not with FVC among participants living in less urbanized municipalities (<1500 addresses/km2, N = 402). Shorter distances of homes to livestock farms were associated with a 1.4% (0.2%; 2.7%) lower FEV1. Larger numbers of farms within 3 km and higher concentrations of PM10 from livestock farming were associated with a 1.8% (0.8%, 2.9%) and 0.9% (0.4%,1.5%) lower FEV1, respectively. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that higher exposure to livestock farming is associated with a lower FEV1 in adolescents. Replication and more research on the etiologic agents involved in these associations and the underlying mechanisms is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115134
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - 15-Feb-2023


  • Adolescents
  • Livestock farming
  • Lung function
  • Particulate matter


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