Slurry risk is focus for young scientists
The use of devices to measure gas emissions from slurry tanks is the focus of a BT Young Scientist competition entry from three young Galway students.
Karne Conroy, Claire O'Keeffe and Sinead Keenan from the Dominican College in Galway city surveyed farmers at the National Ploughing Championships last week about their knowledge of gas emissions.
The students asked farmers if they were aware of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) guidelines on slurry agitation and if they were aware of any devices to measure gas emissions from slurry. They also asked farmers about their agitation methods and whether they used any breathing apparatus while agitating.
The trio of students plan to use their survey as the basis for a BT Young Scientist project on the safety procedures used at slurry agitation.
Karen Conroy said the tragic deaths of three members of the Spence family in Hillsborough, Co Down, recently prompted their research project.
Meanwhile, Teagasc and the HSA have produced a new leaflet highlighting the importance of safe slurry handling. The leaflet warns about the dangers of gases such as hydrogen sulphide, carbon dioxide, ammonia and methane from slurry.
The leaflet is available from all Teagasc offices and can be downloaded from the website www.teagasc.ie.