Vol. 1, Issue 1 (2017)
Health risk assessment of heavy metal exposure from occupational dust in ashaka cement factory of north-eastern Nigeria
Author(s): BM Wufem, HM Maina, ON Maitera, PM Dass
Abstract: Potential health risk of cement factory occupational dust was assessed by calculating the daily exposure doses and subsequently determining the hazard index for the carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic metals. Cement Factory Dust (CFD) and Kiln Feed Dust (KFD) exposure doses for three intake routes showed similar trends for As, Cr, Co, V, Zn, and Mn with dermal route being the dominant pathway of intake with the trend decreasing in the order Dermal > Ingestion > Inhalation. Highest mean exposure dose in CFD was 1.102x104 mgKg-1day-1 Mn and the lowest mean exposure dose was 376.720x10-8 mgKg-1day-1 As for the dermal route. KFD showed highest dermal dose of 6.253x102 mgKg-1day-1 for Fe and a lowest dermal dose of 1.100x10‑2 mgKg-1day-1 for Hg and Sb. The dermal route constitutes over 99% of the metal intake for each metal in the CFD and KFD. The hazard quotients for the non-cancer toxic risk indicated higher health risk in the dermal route for all the metals in the two dust types. The dermal routes had HI > 1, which suggests likely adverse health effect for all the metals that routed through the skin and eyes. Carcinogenic effects showed As intake through dermal pathway to have highest carcinogenic risk while inhalation presents the lowest risk in both cement factory and Kiln feed dusts. Cr posed lesser cancer risk to occupational staff as its highest risk index was 9.307 x10-10 and it’s lowest was 1.997 x10-11. On the basis of dermal pathway being the most susceptible routes through which there might be chance of non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic effects, we therefore recommend protective measures that will reduce dust having contact with skin and eyes of occupational staff.