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Research Article Open Access
There is a paucity of information on whether exposure to emissions from a cement factory has pulmonaryill effectson the residents of communities residing close to these factories. We aimed at determining the prevalence of pulmonary symptoms in a community residing near a cement factory.
Using residence in a community bordering a cement factory, as proxy measure of exposure to cement dust emissions, we conducted a cross sectional study in Freedom Compound, Chilanga, Zambia. Prevalence of selfreported pulmonary symptoms was captured using a modified American Thoracic Society questionnaire administered to respondents aged 15-59 years. The prevalence of pulmonary symptoms in this community was then compared to that of a control community, Bauleni, located 18 km from the cement plant.
Residents of Freedom were 6.00 (95% CI 3.67 – 9.79); 3.30 (95% CI 2.04-5.34), 1.74 (95% CI 1.08-2.84); 5.71 (95% CI 2.02-16.20); and 5.16 (95% CI 1.41-18.94) times more likely to suffer from cough, phlegm, wheeze, asthma and pneumonia, respectively compared to residents in Bauleni.
The study shows that the prevalence of pulmonary symptoms was higher in residents in a community near a cement factory compared to the control. Furthermore, residents of the exposed community were several times more likely to report pulmonary adverse health effect compared to the control. Characterization of air pollutant levels and source apportionment studies in the exposed community are required to determine whether the observed excessive respiratory symptoms are due to emissions from the cement plant.
Cement production, Emissions, Air pollution, Respiratory symptoms, Community, Zambia, Industrial Pollution, Pollution, Public Health, Environmental Health