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Background: Gas flaring, an environmental harmful practice, is prevalent in Eleme and most communities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
Aim: This study explored the impact of gas flaring on some clinical enzyme biomarkers of Eleme residents who are constantly exposed to the flared gas.
Study Design/Place of Study: Volunteer subjects were randomly selected from representative groups resident in Eleme, an oil and gas producing and refining area, for over 15 years, while similar volunteer subjects resident in Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, a non-gas flaring community, served as the control.
Methodology: Blood samples were collected from the subjects and analyzed for selected clinical enzyme biomarkers including Creatine kinase (CK), Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) using standard enzyme activity and Randox test kit methods.
Results: Results obtained revealed that CK levels for female Eleme subjects increased by 61.20% when compare with the female control subjects. This increase was statistically significant (p<0.05). The CK levels for Eleme male subjects also increased by 37.36% compared to control. However, this increase was not statistically significant (p<0.05). LDH increased by 23.21% in the male subjects and 18.58% in the female subjects compared to control, while AST increased by 42.11% in the male subject and 11.32% in the female subjects compared to control. The results suggest that there could be impending damage to organs for which an increase in the biomarkers-Creatine kinase, Lactate Dehydrogenase and Aspartate Aminotransferase suggest an ongoing pathologic process.
Conclusion: These results therefore suggest that the continuous exposure to gas flare is causing an increase in some critical tissue and organ function enzyme biomarkers in blood. This may eventually affect the health status of the residents, increase the tendency of developing ill health and generally reduce their quality of life.
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