Impact of cement factory operations on air quality and human health in Ewekoro Local Government Area, South-Western Nigeria

International Journal of Environmental Studies 10/2012; 69(6). DOI: 10.1080/00207233.2012.732751


The concentrations of pollutants associated with cement production and the effects on ambient air
and community health were assessed in this study. Suspended particulates were monitored using a
Negretti 1000TM air sampler. Additionally, an OgawaTM sampler was employed to assess levels of
selected gaseous pollutants at selected sites. To collect data on health status, a questionnaire survey
was used for selected neighbouring communities and clinic records for industry workers. The data
were analysed with the aid of percentage, variation test, correlation and regression statistics. Mean
concentrations of particulate matter of 10 μ (74–338 μg/m3) and 2.5 μ (28–116 μg/m3) were significantly
higher than permissible limits (50 μg/m3 and 10 μg/m3) within and around the production
plant. At all sites, levels of sulphur dioxide (0.1–12 ppb), nitrogen dioxide (0.1–13 ppb) and carbon
monoxide (0.1–1.7 ppm) were below the allowable limits for human exposure. Analysis of variance
showed significant spatial variations (p < 0.01) in the concentrations of the monitored pollutants;
higher concentrations were monitored at sites in proximity to factory location. The health profile of
the factory workers and some residents of neighbouring communities showed high levels of respiratory and skin infections. Enforcement of law with regard to compliance on emissions and creation of a buffer zone around the cement factory would safeguard the environment and human health.

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    ABSTRACT: This paper reports an assessment of the effects of wood waste burning on air quality and the perceived human health in an urban setting. The concentrations of particulates and selected gases were monitored within the vicinity of sawmills in Abeokuta metropolis. The levels of CO, CO2, SO2, NOx, NO2, H2S, CH4 and particulates at distances from sawmill dumps were measured using portable samplers. Additionally, information on sawmill operations and health problems encountered by the exposed population were collected from a community survey. From the data analyses, between 60 and 100% of wood waste generated by sawmills were burned openly, leading to pollutants emission. The mean concentrations of PM0.3–0.5 (32 523–40 284 μg/m3), NO2 (1.0 ppm), SO2 (3.3 ppm), CO (759 ppm) and CO2 (4.9%) were higher than the permissible limits at 0–15 m from the dump sites. Almost all sampled parameters showed positive association (R = 0.90–0.98; p < 0.05) at sample sites. Moreover, distance of sites to the dumps explained 51–93% of the variation in parameters levels. Both respiratory and dermal diseases were frequently experienced by the exposed population. Strict land-use zoning, pollution abatement measures, environmental quality monitoring and waste-to-energy interventions are urgently required in the study area.
    International Journal of Environmental Studies 12/2013; 70(6):964-975. DOI:10.1080/00207233.2013.845709