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Byssinosis: respiratory problems among cotton textile mill workers in Ethiopia.

Mentesinot-WY; Bergevin-Y; Mgeni-AY
Proceedings of the VIIth International Pneumoconioses Conference, August 23-26, 1988, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 90-108, 1990 Nov; (Part II):880-891
A study of respiratory problems was conducted using a cohort of 595 persons (322 males), employed at a cotton textile mill in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. The comparisons consisted of 309 healthy persons not exposed to cotton dust. General and personal air samples collected at the mill were analyzed for respirable dust. The subjects completed a respiratory symptom questionnaire. They were given physical examinations that focussed on byssinosis and other respiratory diseases. One second forced expiratory volumes (FEV1s) and forced vital capacities (FVC) were determined. Dust concentrations in the area samples ranged from 0.86 to 3.52mg/m3. Dust concentrations in the personal air samples were 1.03 to 3.83mg/m3. The highest dust concentrations in both sample types occurred in the blowing department and the lowest in the weaving department. Approximately 48% of the subjects reported at least one respiratory problem. Hay fever was the most frequently reported problem (28.3% of the subjects). The prevalences of byssinosis, chronic bronchitis, and bronchial asthma were 16.8, 24.9, and 11.6%, respectively, and generally increased with increasing duration of exposure to cotton dust. Blowers and carders had the highest prevalence of byssinosis, chronic bronchitis, and bronchial asthma. Smoking did not significantly influence the prevalence of byssinosis. The prevalence of chronic bronchitis was significantly higher among smokers than nonsmokers. FEV1s and FVCs decreased sharply over a shift in all workers. The FEV1 decreases were more pronounced in the byssinotic subjects. The authors conclude that exposures to high concentrations of cotton dust may be associated with an elevated risk of development respiratory diseases and impairment.
Cotton-dust; Epidemiology; Cigarette-smoking; Respiratory-system-disorders; Cotton-mill-workers; Pulmonary-function-tests; Risk-analysis; Occupational-exposure
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Conference/Symposia Proceedings
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DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 90-108
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Proceedings of the VIIth International Pneumoconioses Conference, August 23-26, 1988, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA