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Inhaled endotoxin and decreased spirometric values. An exposure-response relation for cotton dust.

Castellan RM; Olenchock SA; Kinsley KB; Hankinson JL
N Engl J Med 1987 Sep; 317(10):605-610
Data obtained in a series of earlier studies, involving 108 exposures to a total of 32 cotton dusts, were pooled and analyzed to determine the relationship between exposure to endotoxin and the acute effect of inhaled cotton dust on the respiratory system. The studies had been carried out with groups of 24 to 35 healthy subjects who inhaled cotton dusts for 6 hours. The separate inhalation sessions had been carried out in environments containing endotoxin at concentrations of 6 to 779 nanograms per cubic meter. The group mean percentage changes in the forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) of the subjects, as determined by preexposure and postexposure spirometry, was in the range +0.5 to -9.1 percent. Analysis of the pooled data failed to reveal the existence of a relationship between the concentrations of airborne dust and the percentage change in the group mean of FEV1. However, changes in FEV1 were found to be correlated in an exposure related manner to the concentration of endotoxin. This correlation was improved for low exposure levels by logarithmic transformation of endotoxin values. The authors conclude that their results strongly support the hypothesis that endotoxin is a causative agent of acute respiratory disease which results from inhalation of cotton dust.
Pulmonary-function-tests; Cotton-dust; Dust-inhalation; Dust-exposure; Natural-products; Endotoxins; Humans
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Journal Article
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New England Journal of Medicine
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division