There is an increasingly high suspicion of occupational health diseases amongst workers in sawmill factories. Hence this study aimed to determine the microbial diversity in some sawmill factories in Okada, Edo State, Nigeria to evaluate potential implications of the factory’s processing area on the health of the workers and wood merchants. Bacteria and fungi count in the bioaerosols within the processing area of each factory was performed with the passive air sampling technique. While in the sawdust samples, microbial counts were carried out with the pour plate technique. Identification of the microbes was performed with macroscopic and microscopic examinations as well as standard phenotypic tests. Mean total viable count (TVC) and total fungi count (TFC) of bioaerosols in the air within the processing area of the sawmill factories were found to be greater than 4162.99 CFU/m3 while mean total coliform count (TCC) was reported as 756.28 CFU/m3. Fisher (F) one-way ANOVA test of the TVC and TCC dataset of bioaerosols from the four sawmill factories indicated no significant difference (p = 0.77 and 0.83 for TVC and TFC respectively) in the mean TVC and TFC of the bioaerosols. Bacterial (Micrococcus, Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Klebsiella and Serratia) and fungal (Saccharomyces, Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Penicillium) species were isolated from the bioaerosols and sawdust samples. Results of this study indicated that workers in the sawmill factories and other wood merchants who visit sawmill processing area are most likely exposed to airborne contaminants that may cause occupational diseases such as ophthalmic irritations and dermatitis. Hence it is recommended that sawmill workers and other visitors wear personal protective gadgets in the processing area of the sawmill factories.
Okafor-Elenwo, E. J.,
Imade, O. S.,
& Izevbuwa, O. E.
Microbial Diversity in the Sawmill Environment: Implications on the Health of Sawmill Workers and Merchants, Nigeria,
Journal of Bioresource Management, 7
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