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Respiratory symptoms and dust exposure among cement processing factory workers,Tanzania

MOJ Public Health
Simon H Mamuya,1 Epaphroditus C Sabuni2

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Background: Cement manufacturing is among the growing industry in Tanzania. It involves
processes from blending, kiln burning, clinker, grinding and cement final production. All
of these cement manufacturing processes generates cement dust which contain silica and
other toxic materials which can potentially affect respiratory system of exposed workers.
Methods: This cross sectional comparative study design was conducted at cement
processing factory and Ndanda mineral water processing factory as control, all of these
factories are located in Mtwara region in Tanzania. A total of 398 workers were selected
randomly from these two factories. Data were collected using structured questionnaires for
respiratory health symptoms, Checklists was used for the observational parameters. Dust
sampling was done using Side Kick Casella (SKC) pumps and PVC filter on IOM cassettes
was used to determine dust exposures. The analysis was done by SPSS program vers 20.
The significant association between the dependent variable and the factors was registered
when Pvalue was less the 0.05.
Results: Packing and cleaner were the sections with higher total cement dust concentrations
above Occupational Exposure Limit which were 33.24 and 15.39 mg/m 3 respectively.
Workers in cement processing factory were exposed to higher levels of total dust with
AM 14.1033 mg/m 3 (SD 4.357) than in mineral water processing factory AM 0.0867 mg/
m3 (SD 0.035). The Prevalence of respiratory symptoms was higher among workers in
cement processing factory (45.7%) than in mineral water processing factory (25%), this
was statistically significant.
Conclusion: Exposure to cement dust in a working environment causes the increase in work
related respiratory symptoms and reduced lung function. A control measure to decrease the
dust exposure level among cement workers in line with periodic medical examination is
highly needed.


cement dust, exposure, respiratory symptoms, Tanzania