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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Environmental Health Research
Title Pulmonary health status of residents of a Ni-Cu mining and smelting environment based on spirometry
Volume 5
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
Page numbers 45
URL http://www.cieh.org/jehr/jehr2column.aspx?id=11558
This study focused on evaluating the pulmonary health status of 100 residents of the Selebi Phikwe nickelcopper (Ni-Cu) mine area, Botswana. It presents the results of spirometry tests, which were undertaken primarily to investigate whether mining activities have affected the pulmonary health status of residents. Questionnaires which covered gender, age, purpose of stay, occupation, duration and location of stay in the study area, weight, height, race, smoking habits, chest pains, coughing, and shortness of breath were completed by the tested individuals.

Statistical analysis was performed on the obtained data using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Cross tabulations were implemented to identify the relationships of the residents of the study sites to different classifications of spirometry.

The results indicated that more females suffered from severe, borderline and moderate obstructions than males. Cases of different obstructions for individuals living closer to the mine and smelter/concentrator plant were more compared to those living in the other study sites. The values obtained for complaints of constant chest pains, persistent coughing, and shortness of breath followed similar trends. The results for individuals who smoked also reflected obstructions.

It could thus be deducted from the findings of the study that gaseous fumes, particulate air matter (PAM), and smoking are some of the environmental factors that could possibly be having control on the pulmonary health status of the residents of the Selebi Phikwe Ni-Cu mining area.

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