Utilization of Automobile Tires to Singe Meat for Human Consumption in Three Major Cities of Ghana: International Public Health Implications

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Background:The practice of burning scrap automobile tires for meat-singeing in African countries such as Ghana, presents public health risks due to emissions of hazardous chemicals into the meat and environment.

Purpose: To assess the awareness of the practice, perceived health threats and perceived barriers to ending the practice in three major cities in Ghana. Methods: A concurrent mixed methods study design was employed using the Health Belief and Social Ecological Models as guiding frameworks. Convenience sampling was utilized to recruit participants for surveys (n=196) and focus groups (n=37). One sample t-test and one-way ANOVA were used to analyze quantitative data. Qualitative data were coded thematically.

Results:Approximately 74% of survey participants agreed that meat consumption was high and frequent. Almost 76% were aware of tire usage to singe meat in slaughterhouses. Gender (p=0.014) and age (p=0.012) were significantly associated with awareness. Over 70% of survey participants agreed or strongly agreed that they were at risk of experiencing negative health effects from consumption of tire-singed meat, and 60% were concerned about the severity of those effects (p

Conclusion: Results are enhancing the development and/or enforcement of cost effective, culturally acceptable, and sustainable meat processing policies to minimize potential adverse health outcomes. While additionally creating awareness for developed countries (e.g., the U.S) to continue supporting alternative uses (e.g., recycling) of scrap tires domestically which may significantly reduce scrap tire exportation to developing countries.


American Public Health Association Annual Meeting (APHA)


Atlanta, GA