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Research Journal of Environmental Toxicology
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 203 - 212

Variation in Exposure to Cement Dust in Relation to Distance from Cement Company

Yahaya Tajudeen and Joy Okpuzor    

Abstract: The variation in the degrees of exposure to elements in cement dust and health implications arising from working or living within the vicinity of a cement company was monitored using forty albino rats aged between four and five weeks old. The albino rats were exposed to cement dust for one hundred and eighty days at three selected different locations around the vicinity of a Portland cement company in Ewekoro, Ogun state, South-Western Nigeria. The results of the study revealed that the chemical elements associated with cement dust were detected in the lungs of the exposed rats and the amounts increased with closeness to the Cement Company and length of exposure. It was also observed that the exposed and un-exposed (Control) rats gained considerate weights during the period of the exposure and furthermore, there was a significant difference (p<0.05) between the mean weight of the rats placed at 250 m from the cement company and the control. There was a direct linear association between the mean weights of the rats and all the chemical elements after 180 days. Atomic absorption spectroscopy of the lung tissues of the exposed rats showed significant levels of calcium, silicon, aluminum, chromium and lead compared to the un-exposed rats (p<0.05). The histopathology study of the lung tissues of the exposed rats showed abnormal alveolar architecture, disrupted bronchus, damaged bronchioles, degenerated epithelium lining, weak respiratory connective tissues, inflammations and blue-black pigments. Some of the exposed rats died before the end of the exposure. The results of the investigation highlight the hazards of prolonged exposure to cement dust and underscore the need for urgent action for the protection of animals and plants.

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