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Acute bronchoconstriction induced by cotton dust: dose-related responses to endotoxin and other dust factors.

Castellan-RM; Olenchock-SA; Hankinson-JL; Millner-PD; Cocke-JB; Bragg-CK; Perkins-HH Jr.; Jacobs-RR
Ann Intern Med 1984 Aug; 101(2):157-163
Acute ventilatory changes after exposure to several different commercially available cottons was investigated in human volunteers. The cotton used, method of dust generation, and schedule of exposures were designed to simulate actual mill conditions. A total of 54 subjects were exposed for 6 hours each day to card generated cotton dust from seven different cottons of several grades and growing regions. Spirometric measurements were done before and after all exposures. Each subject had at least five sessions of maximal expiratory maneuvers. Forced volume capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV) were determined. Air samples were analyzed for vertically elutriated gravimetric dust, vertically elutriated endotoxin contamination after about 4 hours of sampling during each exposure, and total and gram positive microbes and fungi. Correlations between each of these indices and exposure related to acute alterations in FVC were derived. Mean FEV responses to gravimetric elutriated dust from various cottons ranged from no effect on FVC, FEV, or maximal flow at 75 percent of expired vital capacity to marked reduction in all three spirometric indices, with the greatest effect on flow parameters. All subjects complained of chest tightness, cough, and breath shortness. A few had transient fever or chill. Concentrations of gravimetric elutriated cotton dust and the mean FEV responses measured for each of the exposures to the various cotton dust was significantly correlated but showed obvious scatter. Viable fungi were not correlated with the FEV response but total bacteria and gram negative bacteria were more highly correlated with FEV response than was the gravimetric dust index. Highest correlation was seen between endotoxin exposure and acute FEV response. The authors conclude that the gram negative endotoxins play a major role in acute bronchoconstriction resulting from inhaled cotton dust.
NIOSH-Author; Humans; Environmental-contamination; Pulmonary-function; Air-sampling; Environmental-control; Environmental-exposure; Endotoxins; Analytical-methods; Air-sampling-techniques; Monitoring-systems
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Annals of Internal Medicine