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Respiratory changes in two groups of flax workers with different exposure pattern.
Thorax 1973 Sep; 28(5):579-583
Respiratory changes were examined clinically in two groups of flax workers with different exposure patterns. A high mean total concentration of flax particles (16.9 mg/cubic meter), of which about 20 percent were of respirable size, caused a high prevalence of byssinosis (69.9 percent) in 55 nonsmoking female workers exposed to biologically retted flax over an average period of 11 years. A significant mean forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV) decrease over the first work shift after the weekend break was found in both byssinotics and nonbyssinotics but was more pronounced in the former. The mean acute FEV reductions over a work shift were smaller on the third than on the first day in the week. Significant decreases in FEV and in maximum expiratory flow rate at 50 percent of vital capacity over the Monday work shift were recorded in 17 seasonal male workers who had been exposed to flax for only two to three months each year for no more than three years. A high prevalence of chronic cough, chronic sputum production, and chronic bronchitis was found in the female flax workers, especially among the byssinotics.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Respiration; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Lungs; Dusts; Hazards; Symptoms; Textiles; Particulates; Epidemiology; Contaminants
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Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division