Evaluation of Noise Levels of Corn Mills in Ablekuma North Sub-Metro, Accra.

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Noise pollution generated from industrial and transport activities in Ghana have received considerable attention from regulators and policy makers. However, rising noise levels in light industries like corn mills have received little attention. A major occupational hazard for workers in corn mills is the noise during the operation of the machines. In this study, evaluation of noise levels was determined by measuring the noise produced by corn mills using sound level meter in Ablekuma North Sub-Metro, Accra. Forty different corn mills were sampled from five electoral areas in the sub-metro, which wereOdorkor North, Odorkor South, Darkuman East, Darkuman West and Kwashieman-Awoshie. The corn mills included imported and locally made ones, new and old teeth of grinding plates were also used for the study. Noise levels were measured 20m and 50m away from source. Questionnaires’ were administered to ascertain the age group of people who go to the mills for service, how long the workers have been working there and the ages of the machines. Questionnaires were also administered to know the medical history of the workers and how long the workers have been exposed to the noise.The results showed that corn mills in Ablekuma North sub-metro produced noise levels above the EPA Ghana standard of 85dB. The imported and locally made corn mills produced noise levels ranging from 90db to 106dB. The results also showed that the noise levels of new and old grinding plates of corn mills ranged from 98db to 103db. The study revealed that inhabitants living 20m and 50m away from corn mills are exposed to noise levels above the EPA Ghana permissible noise level of 60dB for area with some commercial and light industry. 200 out of 250 residents and those who go to mill for service and even the workers felt irritated by the noise produced by the numerous corn mills. The reasons given by some of the residents who felt irritated by the noise included disturbance of sleep especially in the afternoon. 25 out of 40 workers complained of hearing impairment and frequent headache. 30 out of 40 operators were found speaker louder when talking to someone.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Environmental Science, Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology, Kumasi in a partial fulfillment of the Requirements for The Degree of Master of Science in Environmental Science.