Impacts of food processing industry on some environmental health and safety factors

Author

Department of Agricultural and Bioresources Engineering, Federal University of Technology, PMB 65, Minna, Nigeria. E-mail: chuogbo@yahoo.com

Abstract

In developing countries, it is common to site (or locate) industries without environmental impact assessment. In this study the impacts of two food processing industries on land use and land capability, noise and vibration, environmentally sensitive areas and visual quality as environmental elements were investigated. The research method adopted was the investigative survey research approach (ISRA) which included the collection of baseline and screening data. Noise level was determined using the decibel scale. The impacts of the industries on land use and land capability, noise and vibration, environmentally sensitive areas and visual quality included: displacement of agricultural production, quarrying activity and fishermen; loss of forestry and pasture lands; cracks on buildings near or adjacent to the industries due to vibrations from heavy machines; noise pollution from processing machines leading to hearing loss/impairment; reduced shell-fish yield; increased commercial and social activities; and distortion of visual content and coherence. The need for environmental impact auditing and the importance of impact auditing as a project management tool were highlighted. It was concluded that the food processing industries do have positive and negative impacts on the environment and recommendations towards alleviating negative impacts were made.

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