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Intervention studies of cotton steaming to reduce biological effects of cotton dust.
Merchant JA; Lumsden JC; Kilburn KH; O'Fallon WM; Copeland K; Germino VH; McKenzie WN; Baucom D; Currin P; Stilman J
Br J Ind Med 1974 Oct; 31(4):261-274
Since previous exposure chamber studies had suggested that steaming cotton could reduce significantly the levels and biological effects of cotton dust, an intervention study using a high capacity steamer was designed to test the effectiveness of this process in a single cotton mill. The mill population was surveyed and dust sampling was completed prior to intervention with steamed cotton. A panel of 62 byssinotics and heavily exposed workers was selected to serve as a test panel while steamed cotton was introduced to the mill. Following the introduction of adequately steamed cotton the mean Monday decrement in forced expired volume in one second among panel members was significantly reduced to half that observed during control trials. Dust levels were also significantly reduced in the initial opening and picking processes but increased significantly in later processes. Reevaluation of the mill population by work area suggested some improvement in expiratory flow per milligram of dust exposure by a progression in symptoms of byssinosis and bronchitis in later mill processes. It is suggested that steaming may have resulted in removal of some bronchoconstricting property of cotton dust, but that binding of fine dust to the fiber may also occur, resulting in delayed release of fine dust particles. The implications of these observations on environmental control are discussed.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Particulates; Respiration; Lung; Textiles; Pulmonary-function;
Medicine University of Missouri N424 Medical Center Columbia, MO 65201
Issue of Publication
British Journal of Industrial Medicine
University of Missouri Columbia, Columbia, Missouri
Page last reviewed: November 27, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division