Title: An assessment of the immune status of some stone quarry workers in Ondo state, Nigeria
Author(s): Samson O. Onemu, PhDa, Emmanuel Ifeanyi Obeagu, PhDb,* , Adeniyi Adewumi Popoola, PhDc, Michael A. Osuntuyi, BMLSa, Clement N. Isibor, PhDd
Year 2024
Publisher: Medicine
File: PDF

Stone quarry activities in Nigeria are mostly unregulated such that the workers in these quarries are continuously exposed to
the inhalation of silica dust. It has been observed that silica dust particles negatively impact the health of stone quarry workers
which usually manifest as respiratory difficulties, asthma-like illnesses and other adventitious events of the lungs. The study was
designed to evaluate the probable immunological impact of silica dust inhalation from stone crushing by workers. Blood samples
were collected from consenting workers and analyzed for total white blood cells and their subsets. Absolute CD4 cells numbers
were also determined. The results indicated that neutrophils and eosinophils numbers increased significantly (P < .05) and CD4
counts declined significantly (P < .001). Alteration in these proportions is a pointer to the injurious impact of silica dust on the
immune system of these workers. The findings in this study should spur actions in the education of these workers on the need for
the use of proper personal protection equipment and the establishment of a scheme to periodically carry out a health assessment
check to identity those at most risk of developing chronic illnesses