Respiratory disorders associated with quarry mining in Embakasi, Nairobi, Kenya
Kithinji, Lucy Mwari
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Although quarry dust has been associated with respiratory disorders (RD) little systematic research work has been done in Kenya inspite of quarry mining being a major socio-economic activity that generates huge amounts of revenue. This cross-sectional descriptive study was an attempt to determine the extent and scope of RD associated with quarry mining and the RD factors that the workers are subjected to. RD data were collected using structured questionnaires and interviews and clinical examination of the workers while the geological factors were determined by geological analysis of the rock and dust samples. Respondents with clinical evidence of RD were confirmed using roentigenography. Out of 268 respondents approximately 4.5% of the respondent exhibited an RD ranging from pneumonia (0.4%), pulmonary tuberculosis (0.4%) emphysema (0.8%) to most important chronic bronchitis (2.2%). The most common RD symptomatology found was chest pain (20.9%) while the commonest clinical manifestation was crepitation (3%). The major geochemicals RD factors that was found in quarry rock and dust was Silicon dioxide, which was found to be 58.05% and 60.67% in the rock and dust samples respectively. Also duration of exposure p=0.000, was the only statistically significance socio-demographic and occupational factor associated with RD genesis. It is explicit that RD exist among workers in quarry mines. Also protective devices were largely unavailable or unused. Regulatory visit were also lacking. Taken together, it is suggested that stringent regulatory control be imposed while more research work be done to assess environmental impacts of quarry mines and dust characteristics as well as the clinical follow-up of the workers.
- MST-Zoological Sciences