Special Issue on Better Air Quality in Asia (III)

Noor Haziqah Kamaludin1, Juliana Jalaludin This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1,3, Shamsul Bahri Mohd Tamrin1, Abdah Md Akim2, Tri Martiana3, Noeroel Widajati3

1 Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, 43400 Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2 Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, 43400 Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
3 Department of Occupational Health and Safety, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Airlangga, 60115 Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia

Received: December 29, 2019
Revised: July 28, 2020
Accepted: September 21, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.12.0656  

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Cite this article:

Kamaludin, N.H., Jalaludin, J., Mohd Tamrin, S.B., Md Akim, A., Martiana, T. and Widajati, N. (2020). Exposure to Silica, Arsenic, and Chromium (VI) in Cement Workers: A Probability Health Risk Assessment. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 2347–2370. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.2019.12.0656


  • Respirable Si, As, and Cr dust is over the exposure limit on cement workers.
  • The administrative workers had a high tendency of ILCR and non-cancer risk disease.
  • The HQpc of the workers exposed to Si, As, and Cr (VI) exceeded limit value.
  • Unsafe working behaviour influence in high risk of Si, As, and Cr (VI) exposure.


Cement mineral dust contains a variety of carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic substances. The study aimed to determine the probability of health risk among cement workers due to respirable silica (Si), arsenic (As), and chromium (Cr) VI dust exposure. A cross-sectional study was carried out among 123 cement workers. A personal air sampling pump was used to assess respirable cement dust exposure. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used for As, and Cr analysis, and X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) was used for Si analysis. The Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide levels and lung function test were obtained by using NIOX MINO and Chestgraph H1-105 spirometer. Risk assessment was calculated by using the incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) and non-cancerous hazard quotient (HQ). The geometric mean and standard deviation of respirable Si and Cr dust concentrations were 5.27 ± 2.36 mg m–3 and 1.53 ± 2.47 mg m–3, respectively, in manufacturing workers. The mean concentration for As in administrative workers was 0.07 ± 0.02 mg m–3. After controlling for confounders, the abnormalities of FVC% predicted and FEV1% predicted were significantly associated with the respirable Si dust among cement workers (OR = 6.913; CI = 1.965–24.322 and OR = 18.320; CI = 3.078–109.027). FENO concentrations in administrative workers were significantly influenced by the exposure to respirable Si dust (R2 = 0.584, p = 0.006). Manufacturing workers had a high probability of getting cancer due to Si exposure in cement respirable dust at 29.81 × 10–4 times compared to administrative workers at 4.14 × 10–4 times. After reducing for control factors, the probability of manufacturing workers reduced to 0.45 × 10–4 times. As and Cr (VI) dust exposures among cement workers had a probability of cancer risk of 7.49 × 10–4 and 44.09 × 10–4 times, respectively, after reducing for control factors. The non-cancerous disease risk of the workers from exposure to cement mineral dust exceeded the acceptance limit (HQ > 1). Cement workers were at high risk of developing cancerous and non-cancerous diseases due to exposure while working. Cement workers were highly exposed to respirable Si, As, and Cr dust above the permissible exposure limit.

Keywords: Cement mineral dust; Incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR); Hazard quotient (HQ); Health risk assessment.

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