Particulate matter exposure among artisans at Suame-magazine in Kumasi metropolis, Ghana

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Air pollution is one of the major causes of mortality and disease globally. This study was conducted on particulate matter exposure among artisans at Suame-Magazine. Sampling was carried out at three different spots within Zone 21 of Suame-Magazine for a period of 8 hours per sampling section. The same process was done at a residential area which was the control. PM10 particles were collected using the HAZ-DUST EPAM 7500 air sampling device. Questionnaires were administered to assess the health effects on artisans as a result of exposure to PM10. A Human Health Risk Analysis was calculated to predict the health risk posed on an artisan as a result of PM10 inhalation. A number of hazards artisans are faced with were identified. PM10 concentrations from the exposed group and the control group was 211µg/m3 and 103 µg/m3 respectively. The level of PM10 pollution was very high in the exposed group compared to the control group. PM10 pollution level was very high in both groups with mean concentrations exceeding WHO and Ghana EPA guideline values, 50 µg/m3 and 70 µg/m3respectively. Results from a Chi-square analysis revealed that there was an association between exposure to PM10 particle pollution and some health outcomes like hypertension, breathing difficulties, headaches and asthma. Results from the Human Risk Analysis revealed that the risk of exposure to particulate matter inhalation to an artisan was moderate. Hazards identified were slips, trips and falls, cuts, burns, punctures, noise and eye irritations. Air pollution has been proven to be a threat to the health of humanity and the environment as a whole. Proper safety precautions should be taken by workers at all times and more research should be carried out in this particular area due to the due to the fact that it is major health threat to humans, animals and the environment as a whole.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety, School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the Degree of Master of Science in Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety.
Exposure, Artisans, Suame-Magazine, Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana