Evaluating Health Effects of Pulp and Paper Air Pollution in Webuye and its Environs in Kenya

Elvis K. Kiano, Wilson K. Yabann, Joel Sumukwo


Air pollution is a severe health issue having both morbidity and mortality effects to human beings. Pulp and paper milling characteristically emits many pollutants key among them Particulate Matter (PM) which is a lethal pollutant irrespective of the particulate diameter. Evidence shows that breathing air containing PM aggravates respiratory and cardiac mortality and morbidity, while precipitating adverse respiratory health outcomes such as asthma, lung function decline, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This study sought to provide empirical evidence on health morbidity effects occasioned by PM10 of pulp and paper milling as a single source pollutant to a rural population in a developing country such as Kenya. This evidence includes prevalence of respiratory symptoms and relationship between exposure to pollutant and morbidity (sickness events). This was achieved through observational population-based cohort study. The study found positive association between PM10 concentration and prevalence of respiratory symptoms. The study found that a marginal increase of PM10 occasions a 12% increase in persistent cough prevalence. Similarly, common cold increased by 92% while wheezing increased by 22% all other factors remaining constant. the study concludes that Webuye environs exhibits high prevalence of respiratory diseases. Regarding morbidity effect of ambient air pollution, the study concludes that there is a positive significant relationship between chronic exposure to PM10 and respiratory symptoms.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/emsd.v7i2.12817


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Copyright (c) 2018 Elvis K. Kiano, Wilson K. Yabann, Joel Sumukwo

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Environmental Management and Sustainable Development  ISSN 2164-7682

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