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Journal of Applied Sciences
  Year: 2008 | Volume: 8 | Issue: 13 | Page No.: 2344-2356
DOI: 10.3923/jas.2008.2344.2356
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Environmental Effects of Nickel-Copper Exploitation on Workers Health Status at Selebi Phikwe Area, Botswana

Georges-Ivo E. Ekosse


Exploitation of nickel-copper (Ni-Cu) at Selebi Phikwe, Botswana is considered to have environmental and human health implications. Of particular concern is the labour force, which experiences a higher level of exposure to environmental hazards due to mining, compared to other categories of residents within the Ni-Cu mining environment. Health effects associated with Ni-Cu mining on workers living within the area were thus investigated through the administration of questionnaires. Results depicted workers suffering from different symptoms and illnesses as follows in percentages: body weakness 42, loss of body weight 16, influenza/common colds 66, headaches 70, chest pain 40, repeated coughing 45, need to spit often 6, shortness of breath 18, palpitations 14, regular lower abdominal pain 31, pain when urinating 4, genital discharge at some time 5, nausea/vomiting 12, frequent diarrhoea 12 and constant constipation 10. Values obtained for same symptoms and diseases at the control site were in general lower than those closer to the mining area. Frequent chest pains, repeated coughing, constant influenza/common cold and persistent headaches, which workers of the environment suffer from were very significantly higher compared to those at the control site and incidences of their occurrences increased with closeness to mining area. The unusual high occurrences of these ailments and illnesses coupled with associated diseases among workers at Selebi Phikwe were attributed to several environmental factors including contaminated Particulate Air Matter (PAM) (rich in sulphur and heavy metals) linked to the mining and smelting of Ni-Cu. These findings are in conformity with those of previous related studies and infer possible similarities for workers of business enterprises within other Ni-Cu mining environments around the world.

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How to cite this article:

Georges-Ivo E. Ekosse , 2008. Environmental Effects of Nickel-Copper Exploitation on Workers Health Status at Selebi Phikwe Area, Botswana. Journal of Applied Sciences, 8: 2344-2356.

DOI: 10.3923/jas.2008.2344.2356






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