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Lab Anim. 1996 Jan;30(1):79-87.

The dust content, dust generation, ammonia production, and absorption properties of three different rodent bedding types.

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Animal Unit G 20, Faculty of Medicine, University of the Orange Free State, Bloemfontein, Republic of South Africa.


Vermiculite, pine shavings and unbleached eucalyptus pulp contact bedding were compared for dust content, dust production (as a result of animal activity), moisture absorption properties and ammonia production. The percentage of dust particles <300 microm found in pine shavings and vermiculite was 18 and 8 times greater respectively than was found in eucalyptus pulp. The lowest ammonia levels (<1-1 ppm), measured on day 7, were obtained using eucalyptus pulp. Although the ammonia levels obtained for vermiculite compared very well with those of pulp, high levels of dust, up to 5 times more than pulp, were experienced with vermiculite. Pine shavings were associated with the highest ammonia concentration (1-3 ppm), but produced approximately 50% less dust than vermiculite. The water absorption properties obtained for pulp were between 35% and 76% higher than those obtained for vermiculite and pine shavings respectively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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