Following a case of bird flu being confirmed at a duck breeding farm in the village of Nafferton, East Yorkshire, various poultry farmers will all be on high alert after the poultry market declared a high risk.
In East Yorkshire, some 6,000 birds will be culled and a 10km (6 mile) exclusion zone is in place around the farm to prevent further spread of the virus H5N8.
Emergency measures to contain outbreaks of bird flu in East Yorkshire have been announced by the European Commission. These include the culling of the poultry on the affected holding and the introduction of sanitary measures (cleaning, sterilisation and disinfection).
With Christmas on its way, turkey producers will be especially keen to stay free of bird flu. Poultry farmers (chickens, turkeys, ducks, pheasants etc) will be looking for a range of gas detection products as they deep clean their facilities before and after use to try and prevent the spread of the virus.
Farmers are using preventative methods which include moving birds to an alternative shed then thoroughly spraying down sheds with sterile liquids such as formalin. These sheds are then sealed off for a number of days for the sterilisation to take place.
During the disinfection process, high levels of sterile liquids and vapours will be present which are hazardous to health. Gas detection equipment is required for checking the levels of gases inside of the sheds. Once the levels are safe to enter, gas detection is also used to fulfil pre-entry checks (similar to confined space entry checks).
Once inside the sheds, workers will need to wear personal gas monitors to alert them to any lurking clouds of hazardous gas. Pockets of hazardous gas can occur if there are any puddles still remaining due to uneven floors or where the sterile solution has soaked into wooden floors.
EH40 guidelines limit exposure to Ethylene Oxide to 5ppm over an 8 hour period, whilst formaldehyde exposure is 2ppm and Hydrogen Peroxide is 1ppm.
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