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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(1), 871-887; doi:10.3390/ijerph120100871

Prevalence and Determinants of Mucous Membrane Irritations in a Community Near a Cement Factory in Zambia: A Cross Sectional Study

Department of Environmental Health/Clinical Medicine, Chainama College of Health Sciences, P.O. Box 33991, Lusaka 10101, Zambia
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
School of Public Health and Health System, Health Sciences Faculty, University of Pretoria, P.O. Box 667, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
School of Medicine, Public Health Unit, Copperbelt University, P.O. Box 71191, Ndola 10101, Zambia
School of Health Sciences, University of Lusaka, P.O. Box 36711, Lusaka 10101, Zambia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 5 November 2014 / Accepted: 6 January 2015 / Published: 16 January 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [646 KB, uploaded 16 January 2015]   |  


Exposure to cement dust has been associated with deleterious health effects in humans. This study investigated whether residing near a cement factory increases the risk of irritations to the mucous membranes of the eyes and respiratory system. A cross sectional study was conducted in Freedom Compound, a community bordering a cement factory in Chilanga, Zambia and a control community, Bauleni, located 18 km from the cement plant. A modified American Thoracic Society questionnaire was administered to 225 and 198 respondents aged 15–59 years from Freedom and Bauleni, respectively, to capture symptoms of the irritations. Respondents from Freedom Compound, were more likely to experience the irritations; adjusted ORs 2.50 (95% CI: 1.65, 3.79), 4.36 (95% CI (2.96, 6.55)) and 1.94 (95% CI (1.19, 3.18)) for eye, nose and sinus membrane irritations respectively. Cohort panel studies to determine associations of cement emissions to mucous membrane irritations and respiratory symptoms, coupled with field characterization of the exposure are needed to assess whether the excess prevalence of symptoms of mucous membrane irritations observed in Freedom compound are due to emissions from the cement factory. View Full-Text
Keywords: cement production emissions; air pollution; mucous membrane; community; Zambia cement production emissions; air pollution; mucous membrane; community; Zambia

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Nkhama, E.; Ndhlovu, M.; Dvonch, J.T.; Siziya, S.; Voyi, K. Prevalence and Determinants of Mucous Membrane Irritations in a Community Near a Cement Factory in Zambia: A Cross Sectional Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 871-887.

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