Questionnaire, pulmonary function tests, and chest X-rays were performed in cotton gin workers and in nonexposed control subjects to determine the prevalence of chronic respiratory disease and byssinosis. The air of the cotton gins was analyzed for respirable dust. The chronic respiratory disease found by functional tests was attributable to the years of exposure for smokers only, but not to any current personal or area dust exposure level. The prevalence of low ventilatory capacity found in gin workers was higher than that found in the cotton textile industry and was more frequent and more severe in smokers. There was no relationship between the prevalence of forced expiratory volume reactors and job area, dust level, or years experienced.
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