Stephen O. Maduka, Eme E. Osim, Uchechukwu Dimkpa

Objectives: We investigated the respiratory symptoms and eosinophil levels of workers exposed to quarry pollutants in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A total of 400 workers exposed to quarry dust and 400 age, sex, body mass index-matched unexposed controls participated in this study. Incidences of respiratory and allergic symptoms were investigated. The level of respiratory dust and gas emissions in quarry sites were measured. Results: The incidence of respiratory symptoms and mean eosinophil levels were significantly greater in workers exposed to quarry dust compared with controls. Mean levels of respirable dust and certain poisonous gases from quarry sites were significantly higher compared with those of control environments. The hazard index of respiratory irritants was >1. Conclusion: The higher incidence of respiratory infections and aggravated inflammatory responses observed in quarry workers may be attributable to the presence of higher level of respiratory system irritants in the quarry sites.