NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Respiratory health effects of inhaled endotoxins: byssinosis and beyond.
Agricultural health and safety: workplace, environment, sustainability. McDuffie HH, Dosman JA, Semchuk KM, Olenchock SA, Senthilselvan A, eds. Boca Raton, FL: Lewis Publishers, 1995 Apr; :97-100
This overview considers clinical and epidemiological research relating to the theory that byssinosis, and symptoms associated with other organic dust exposures, may be caused by endotoxin inhalation. Evidence of a relationship between exposure to gram negative bacteria (GNB) and respiratory disease includes the outbreak of acute illnesses among individuals making mattresses from a low grade cotton that had been heavily contaminated. Recent studies suggest that endotoxin has a causal role, while providing evidence against a causal role for cotton bract in general and measured plant components. Monday chest symptoms have been correlated with airborne viable GNB concentrations and also with airborne endotoxin concentrations, but not with airborne dust concentrations. However, in other studies acute changes in lung function over the course of a Monday workshift showed a significant correlation with airborne dust concentrations, but not with either airborne GNB concentrations or with airborne endotoxins. While byssinosis has been traditionally restricted to workers with exposure to cotton, flax and hemp dust, there are similar effects among workers inhaling endotoxin contaminated dust in wool carpet factories, swine confinement centers, and animal feed mill facilities. The possible role of endotoxin in the etiology of hypersensitivity pneumonitis was also noted. The authors indicate that suggested limits for occupational exposure to airborne endotoxin can serve as a guideline for controlling exposures.
Inhalants; Airborne-dusts; Dust-exposure; Organic-dusts; Textiles-industry; Bacterial-dusts; Animal-husbandry-workers; Respiratory-system-disorders; Cotton-mill-workers; Cotton-dust; Occupational-exposure
McDuffie-HH; Dosman-JA; Semchuk-KM; Olenchock-SA; Senthilselvan-A
Agricultural health and safety: workplace, environment, sustainability
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division