An epidemiological study on effect of occupational exposure of cement

Saji K. G., Zubair M., Sreelatha B. Nair, Varghese P. R.


Background: Construction industry chiefly depends on the cement. The constituents in the cement have various health effects in the exposed group. The present study focused to realize the health effects of cement exposure and duration of exposure.

Methods: The sample size was 831 male workers. The labourers included were construction workers (masons, helpers and concrete mixers) and cement loading and unloading workers. They were categorized in to five groups which were 5-9, 10-14, 15-19, 20-24 and 25+ years based on the duration of exposure to cement. Health hazards among these labourers were categorized in to lung function impairment symptoms, cutaneous symptoms and other symptoms.

Results: High frequency of respiratory tract ailments (persistent cough 54%, breathlessness 47%) was observed among loading workers as they were handling cement dust. Burning was the most observed one in concrete mixer (70%), hair loss and change in hair colour was observed in 60% of all categories of workers. Skin related ailments were more prevalent among masons, helpers and concrete mixers.

Conclusions: The frequency symptoms had correlation with their nature of work in the construction industry. Prolonged exposure to hazardous substances will decline the efficiency of labourers by malfunctioning their physiological functions. Proper awareness about the hazardous substances and well taken precautions among these labours can enhance their efficacy and wellbeing.



Cement exposure, Wet cement, Dry cement, Masons, Loading workers, Health hazards

Full Text:



Abu-Taleb AN, Musaiger AO, Adelmoneim RB. Health status of cement workers in the United Arab Emirates. J Roy Soc health. 1995;115:378-81.

Jude ALC, Sasikala K, Kumar RA, Sudha S, Raichel J. Haematological and Cytogenetic Studies in Workers Occupationally Exposed to Cement Dust. Int J Human Genetics. 2002;2(2):95–9.

Mohanrao J, Indira P. A Case Study on Hematological Parameters inworkers exposed to Cement dust in Areas of Nalagonda District. IOSR J Environ Sci Toxicol Food Tech. 2012;1(1):21019– 2402.

Abdelhamid A. Effect of Exposure to Portland Cement Dust on the Periodontal Status and on the Outcome of Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy. Int J Health Sci. 2016;10(3):339.

Meo SA. Health hazards of cement dust. Saudi Medical J. 2004;25(9):1153-8.

Zeleke ZK, Moen BE, Bråtveit M. Cement dust exposure and acute lung function: A cross shift study. BMC Pulmonary Med. 2010;10:19.

Peters S, Thomassen Y, Fechter-Rink E, Kromhout H. Personal Exposure to Inhalable Cement Dust among Construction Workers. J Environ Monit. 2009;11(1):174-80.

Mandal A, Suva P. Haematological changes among construction workers exposed to cement dust in West Bengal, India. Prog Health Sci Poland Prog Health Sci. 2014;4(4):88–94.

Erhabor O, Kebbe BI, Zama II, Abdullahi N, Marafa Y, Okwesili AN. Effect of occupational exposure of cement dust on some haematological parameters of workers in a cement company in Sokoto, Nigeria. Int J Med Sci Health Care. 2013;1(7):21–5.

Manjula R, Praveena R, Clevin R, Ghattargi C, Dorle A, Lalitha D. Effects of occupational dust exposure on the health status of portland cement factory workers. Int J Med Public Health. 2013;3(3):192.

Balakrishna BA, Payal SL, Prasant VH, Ramesh MC. Health problems among migrant construction workers: A unique public-private partnership project. Indian J Occup Environ Med. 2011;15(1):29–32.

Anand S. The prevalence of respiratory morbidity and the risk factors associated, among the workers of cement industry in South India: A cross sectional study (Doctoral dissertation, SCTIMST). 2012.

Ahmed HO, Newson-Smith MS. Knowledge and practices related to occupational hazards among cement workers in United Arab Emirates. J Egypt Public Health Assoc. 2010;85(3–4):149–67.

Aydin S, Aydin S, Croteau G, Sahin I., Citil C. Ghrelin, Nitrite and Paraoxonase/ Arylesterase. Concentrations in Cement Plant Workers. Journal of Medical Biochemistry. 2010;29(2):78-83.

Sana S, Bhat GA, Balkhi HM. Health Risks Associated With Workers in Cement Factories. Int J Scientific and Res Publications. 2013;3(1):2250–3153.