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; DOI: 10.1080/00207233.2012.732751

ABSTRACT 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: Few studies have been carried out on acute effects of cement dust exposure. This study is conducted to investigate the associations between current "total" dust exposure and acute respiratory symptoms and respiratory function among cement factory workers. A combined cross-sectional and cross-shift study was conducted in Dire Dawa cement factory in Ethiopia. 40 exposed production workers from the crusher and packing sections and 20 controls from the guards were included. Personal "total" dust was measured in the workers' breathing zone and peak expiratory flow (PEF) was measured for all selected workers before and after the shift. When the day shift ended, the acute respiratory symptoms experienced were scored and recorded on a five-point Likert scale using a modified respiratory symptom score questionnaire. The highest geometric mean dust exposure was found in the crusher section (38.6 mg/m3) followed by the packing section (18.5 mg/m3) and the guards (0.4 mg/m3). The highest prevalence of respiratory symptoms for the high exposed workers was stuffy nose (85%) followed by shortness of breath (47%) and "sneezing" (45%). PEF decreased significantly across the shift in the high exposed group. Multiple linear regression showed a significant negative association between the percentage cross-shift change in PEF and total dust exposure. The number of years of work in high-exposure sections and current smoking were also associated with cross-shift decrease in PEF. Total cement dust exposure was related to acute respiratory symptoms and acute ventilatory effects. Implementing measures to control dust and providing adequate personal respiratory protective equipment for the production workers are highly recommended.
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    ABSTRACT: Cement industry is considered as a major pollution problem on account of dust and particulate matter emitted at various steps of cement manufacture. Cement dust consists of many toxic constituents. The workers who are employed in cement industries are exposed to cement dust for long periods. Therefore, it is mandatory to evaluate the mutagenic effects of occupational exposure to cement dust in such workers. In the present study, we analyzed the samples of 124 male workers including 59 smokers and 65 non-smokers who were employed in cement industry for a period of 1-17 years. For comparison, 106 controls (including 47 smokers and 59 non-smokers) of the same age group and socio-economic status were also studied. Controls had no exposure to cement dust or any known physical or chemical agent. A significant increase in the incidence of chromosomal aberrations was observed in the exposed group when compared to the control group. The results were analyzed separately for non-smokers and smokers. The chromosomal damage was more pronounced in the smokers when compared with the non-smokers both in control and exposed groups. A significant increase in the frequency of chromosomal aberrations was also observed with increase in age in both control and exposed subjects.
    Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 03/2001; 490(2):179-86. · 3.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic exposure to Portland cement dust has been reported to lead to a greater prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms and a reduction of ventilatory capacity. The seriousness of pulmonary function impairment and respiratory disease has not been consistently associated with the degree of exposure. Regular use of appropriate personal protective equipment, if available at the worksite, could protect cement workers from adverse respiratory health effects. For a variety of reasons, industrial workers in rapidly developing countries do not adequately protect themselves through personal protective equipment. This study explores the prevalence of chronic respiratory symptoms and ventilatory function among cement workers and the practice of use of personal protective equipment at work. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect information on sociodemographic characteristics, smoking profile and history of respiratory health among workers at a Portland cement plant (exposed) and workers occupationally unexposed to dust, fumes and gases (unexposed). Pulmonary function was assessed and pulmonary function impairment was calculated for the exposed and the unexposed workers. A higher percentage of the exposed workers reported recurrent and prolonged cough (30%), phlegm (25%), wheeze (8%), dyspnoea (21%), bronchitis (13%), sinusitis (27%), shortness of breath (8%) and bronchial asthma (6%). Among the unexposed, prevalences of these symptoms were 10, 5, 3, 5, 4, 11, 4 and 3%, respectively. Ventilatory function (VC, FVC, FEV(1), FEV(1)/VC, FEV(1)/FVC and PEF) was significantly lower in the exposed workers compared with unexposed workers. These differences could not be explained by age, body mass index (BMI) or pack-years smoked. Ventilatory function impairment, as measured by FEV(1)/FVC, showed that 36% of the exposed workers had some ventilatory function impairment compared with 10% of those unexposed. Certain jobs with greater exposure to cement dust had lower ventilatory function compared with others among the exposed workers. It was concluded that adverse respiratory health effects (increased frequency of respiratory symptoms and decreased ventilatory function) observed among cement workers could not be explained by age, BMI and smoking, and were probably caused by exposure to cement dust.
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May 22, 2014