The general health problems that may arise from prolonged exposure to cement dust were investigated using black rats (Rattus rattus L.) living around a Portland Cement Company in Sagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria. 24 black rats, comprising of 12 rats from the cement factory and 12 rats from an environment free from cement dust were used for the study. Elemental analysis, hematology examination, histopathology examination and UV spectroscopy of the DNA of the rats in the two locations were carried out in the laboratory. The elemental analysis of the lung tissues of the exposed rats showed significant (p<0.05) concentrations of calcium, silicon, aluminum, chromium and lead compared to the control rats. The hematology examinations of the exposed rats showed marked reduction in the PCV, HB, RBC, WBC and total protein compared to the control rats. The histopathology analysis of the lung tissues of the exposed rats showed abnormal alveolar architecture, damaged bronchioles, disrupted bronchus, weak respiratory connective tissues, degenerated epithelium linings and inflammations. The liver tissues had abnormal cellular pattern, damaged central veins, disruption of portal triad and inflammations. And the kidney tissues showed damaged epithelium linings, convoluted tubules, damaged renal corpuscles and inflammations. There was no significant difference between the UV spectroscopy of the DNA of the exposed and the control rats. The results further confirm that cement dust is both toxic and pathogenic to animals including man. There is no doubt that people working or living within the vicinity of the cement company stand the risk of being affected by different types of diseases arising from exposure to cement dust.
Yahaya Tajudeen, Joy Okpuzor and Adedayo Titilola Fausat, 2011. Investigation of General Effects of Cement Dust to Clear the Controversy Surrounding its Toxicity. Asian Journal of Scientific Research, 4: 315-325.