5 years ago

Effects of Airborne Particulate Matter on Respiratory Health in a Community near a Cement Factory in Chilanga, Zambia: Results from a Panel Study.

Emmy Nkhama, Graciela Mentz, Kuku Voyi, Seter Siziya, J Timothy Dvonch, Mary Lynam, Micky Ndhlovu
We conducted a panel study to investigate seasonal variations in concentrations of airborne PM2.5 and PM10 and the effects on respiratory health in a community near a cement factory; in Chilanga; Zambia. A panel of 63 and 55 participants aged 21 to 59 years from a community located at the edge of the factory within 1 km and a control community located 18 km from the factory respectively; were followed up for three climatic seasons July 2015 to February 2016. Symptom diary questionnaires were completed and lung function measurements taken daily for 14 days in each of the three climatic seasons. Simultaneously, PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations in ambient air were monitored at a fixed site for each community. Mean seasonal concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 ranged from 2.39-24.93 μg/m(3) and 7.03-68.28 μg/m³ respectively in the exposed compared to the control community 1.69-6.03 μg/m³ and 2.26-8.86 μg/m³. The incident rates of reported respiratory symptoms were higher in the exposed compared to the control community: 46.3 vs. 13.8 for cough; 41.2 vs. 9.6 for phlegm; 49.0 vs.12.5 for nose; and 13.9 vs. 3.9 for wheeze per 100 person-days. There was a lower performance on all lung indices in the exposed community compared to the control; overall the mean FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in one second) and FVC (forced vital capacity) predicted percentage for the exposed was six and four percentage points lower than the control. Restriction of industrial emissions coupled with on-going monitoring and regulatory enforcement are needed to ensure that PM (airborne particulate matter) levels in the ambient air are kept within recommended levels to safeguard the respiratory health of nearby community residents.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14111351

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph14111351

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