Background: The rising cases of cancer and associated mobidity and mortality are indirectly linked to occupational health hazards especially in developing cases. This is further comounded by low level of compliance to safety health measures among factory workers. Ignorance and low-level of awareness on the associated health-implication of occupational risk exposure have been implicated in this regard.
Methods: The present study was carried out to evaluate the effect of cement dust exposure on selected liver function parameters in cement handlers at Ekpoma, Nigeria. A total of 114 subjects comprising 57 with history of exposure to cement dust by means of their occupation or by means of livelihood for at least one (1) year, designated as cement handlers (CH) and another 57 non-cement handlers designated as control (CT). Blood sample was collected from the anti-cubital fossa vein of each participant by venipuncture first thing in the morning before the commencement of daily activity into lithium heparin anticoagulant bottles. Plasma bilirubin (conjugated, unconjugated and total) as well as AST, ALT, ALP activities were determined using standard colorimetric methods.
Results: Bilirubin levels were altered significantly (p < 0.05), while ALT activity was significantly decreased (p < 0.05) in CH compared CT. AST and ALP activities were not significantly altered.
Conclusion: The results presented in this study showed that exposure to cement dust led to markedly increased level of some liver function parameters in cement handlers. This is indicative of a compromised liver function due to hepatotoxicity.