Pulmonary Problems among Quarry Workers of Stone Crushing Industrial Site at Umuoghara, Ebonyi State, Nigeria

AN Nwibo, EI Ugwuja, NO Nwambeke, OF Emelumadu, LU Ogbonnaya


Background: Respiratory problem is one of the major health hazards in dust-exposed workers; it is a major cause of morbidity and mortality all over the world.

Objective: To determine the prevalence of respiratory problems and lung function impairment among quarry workers in Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

Methods: Respiratory problems and lung function were studied in 403 quarry workers aged 10–60 years. Respiratory problems were investigated with a questionnaire based on international models adapted for the study population. Lung function was assessed by spirometry and chest roentgenography.

Results: The respiratory problems found were chest pain (47.6%), occasional cough (40.7%), occasional shortness of breath (6.5%) and wheezing (5.2%). The mean±SD FEV1 and FVC values were significantly decreased with length of exposure—respectively, 3.52±0.77 and 3.91±0.72 L for <5 years; 2.79±0.68 and 3.09±0.87 L for 5–10 years; and 2.03±0.92 and 2.86±0.83 L for >10 years of exposure. Moreover, the mean±SD FEV1 and FVC values of smoker (3.37±0.81 and 3.56±1.02 L, respectively) were significantly (p<0.05) lower than that of non-smokers (3.68±1.02 and 3.89±0.99 L, respectively) working in the quarry site.

Conclusion: Chronic exposure to dust due to stone quarrying may increase the risk of respiratory problems and impaired lung function—cigarette smokers are at higher risk.


Occupational exposure; Signs and symptoms, respiratory; Silicosis; Respiratory function test

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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