International Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 3 Issue 5 2013- March 2013    Pages: 1437-1445  <<Previous    Next>>

Pneumoconiosis among quarry workers in a metropolitan town in Southeastern Nigeria

Author Information:

Ogbodo S.O1, Oti M.E2, Okeke A.C3, Okafor C.S4
1- Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Ebonyi State University, P.M. B. 053, Abakaliki, Nigeria.
2- Department of Chemical Pathology, Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital, P.M.B 073, Abakaliki, Nigeria.
3- Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus, Nigeria.
4- Department of Applied Biochemistry, Faculty of Biosciences Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Nigeria.


Despite the importance of quarries to man, the dust raised during quarrying process poses a great trait to human life, both to the workers and those living within the environment. Specifically worrisome is the affect on human organs like the heart, lung, liver, and kidney. We determined the total lactate dehydrogenase activity, and serum urea and creatinine concentrations in 236 subjects aged between 20 and 50 years, comprising 176 quarry workers and 60 age-matched non-workers (controls). Our results should that all the parameters increased significantly (p<0.001) in quarry workers when compared with the controls, with lactate dehydrogenase activity of 306.0 ± 5.94iu/L in control and 650.5 ± 9.75iu/l in workers, urea concentration of 4.06 ± 0.16mmol/L in controls and 6.56 ± 0.18mmol/L in workers, and creatinine concentration of 34.31 ± 1.37µmol/L in controls and 53.21 ± 1.49µmol/L in workers. The results also showed that the enzyme activity and urea concentration increased as duration of work increased, while creatinine concentration increased at the onset of work but decreased subsequently. We opine that the organs principally affected by quarry dust in this area are the lungs and hearts. We suggest that owners of quarry industries be compelled to design good health and welfare packages for their workers, and that all quarry industries around residential areas be moved to a satellite town to reduce inhalation of quarry dust by non-workers.

Key words:Pneumoconiosis, quarry workers, lactate dehydrogenase, urea, creatinine.


© 2013 Copyright by the authors, licensee Integrated Publishing Association.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (3.0) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

The electronic version of the article can be downloaded below

Download full text pdf

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend