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Controlled Human Exposure to "Cotton" Dust.

Battigelli MC; Fischer JJ; Gamble JF
Proceedings, Special Session on Cotton Dust, 1977 Beltwide Cotton Production Research Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, January 10, 1977 1977 Jan:73-75
Effects of cotton dust exposure on lung function of byssinotics, textile workers with other abnormal respiratory function, and normal subjects were investigated. Dust was introduced into a small exposure room by means of a Harvard Disc generator. The dust had been collected from a cotton mill and processed through a series of sieves so that it included a large fraction of particles of respirable size. During exposures the subjects were routinely questioned regarding their subjective response to inhaling the dust. Ventilatory measurements were also taken before, after, and 5 hours after exposure. The ventilatory responses of healthy volunteers free of occupational history of work in the textile industries were measured for 0.4 to 2.2mg/m3 dust concentrations. Ventilation was clearly affected at higher dust concentrations (over 1.6mg/m3 for periods of 1 hour), but a clear dose response relationship was not obtained. Textile workers without complaints of byssinosis but with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) demonstrated more pronounced dose effect relationships, as did byssinotics. Concentrations of dust below 0.7mg/m3 were much less effective in determining ventilatory effects in byssinotic and COPD individuals. A marked decrease in the numbers of microorganisms present in the dust samples was obtained through sterilization of the samples by ethylene-oxide exposure. No correlation was noted between the rough estimates of endotoxin content by the Limulus assay method and actual counts of viable gram negative bacteria in several samples. The authors conclude that although a dose effect relationship has not been found, occupationally naive subjects do show ventilatory responses to cotton dust inhalation.
Lung-irritants; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Cotton-mill-workers; Humans; Dust-inhalation; Cotton-dust; Airborne-dusts; Airborne-fibers; Pulmonary-function-tests; Respirable-dust; Dose-response; Microbiology; Endotoxins;
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings;
Wakelyn PJ; Sasser PE;
Fiscal Year
Priority Area
Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Disease and Injury; Pulmonary-system-disorders;
Source Name
Proceedings, Special Session on Cotton Dust, 1977 Beltwide Cotton Production Research Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, January 10, 1977
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division