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1.  An evaluation of effect of airborne dust from a cotton mill on the guinea-pig ileum with reference to byssinosis. 
The effect of airborne dust on the guinea-pig ileum was studied. Tyrode extracts of airborne dust collected freshly in the cardroom of a cotton mill, and extracts of air pollutant samples drawn on the roof of the mill and of the local town hall were all found to induce the guinea-pig ileum to contract when applied in a tissue-bath. However, the force of contraction with air pollutants was rather greater than that with the cardroom dust. Considering the variables involved, the ileum response to the cardroom dust may have been due to ordinary air pollutants which constitute a significant part of the dust. It is concluded that this pharmacological phenomenon is probably not relevant in the context of byssinosis.
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PMCID: PMC1008066  PMID: 1156573
2.  Recent trends in the prevalence of byssinotic symptoms in the Lancashire textile industry. 
A respiratory symptoms questionnaire was completed for 4656 volunteers employed in 31 textile factories engaged in spinning or weaving manmade fibre or cotton of various qualities. Sets of airborne dust and bacteria samples were collected in workzones and personal breathing zones in the workrooms where the volunteers were employed. A total of 182 people indicated experiencing byssinotic symptoms, mainly in opening and carding rooms or in spinning and winding rooms where medium to coarse cotton was being processed. This represents a significant decline in the prevalence of byssinotic symptoms over the years, due possibly to lower concentrations of airborne contaminants, especially of bacteria, as cleaner raw materials are being used. According to a multiple, logistic regression model, the prevalence of byssinotic symptoms was found to be statistically significantly related to years worked in the cotton industry, exposure to dust, quality of cotton used, workroom of employment, ethnic origin, and smoking habits. Symptoms of chronic bronchitis were found to be significantly related to smoking habit and to factors connected with occupation, such as exposure to dust, workroom, and the quality of fibre processed.
PMCID: PMC1009697  PMID: 3203083
3.  Low prevalence of byssinotic symptoms in 12 flax scutching mills in Normandy, France. 
The concentrations of airborne dust and bacteria were determined in 12 flax scutching mills and in two milk processing plants in Normandy, France. A total of 308 of 340 flax workers and 111 of 113 milk processors volunteered to answer a respiratory questionnaire. Personal exposure to airborne dust in the scutching mills varied from 22.2 mg/m3 to 144 mg/m3 and areal concentrations from 8.92 mg/m3 to 47.1 mg/m3. The concentration of Gram negative bacteria ranged from 3970 (colony forming units) cfu/m3 to 67,900 cfu/m3 and that of total bacteria from 12,900 cfu/m3 to more than 600,000 cfu/m3. In all, 20% of the flax scutchers were found, on the basis of the questionnaire, to suffer from persistent cough and 25% from chronic phlegm production. The corresponding figures among milk processors were 3.6% and 4.5%. Unexpectedly, only 12.5% of the scutchers appeared to suffer from byssinotic symptoms even though they were heavily exposed to airborne dust and bacteria. The low prevalence of byssinosis might be due to self selection of the workforce or a relatively low concentration of the causative agent despite high airborne contamination.
PMCID: PMC1008003  PMID: 3378012
4.  Ventilatory function in workers exposed to tea and wood dust. 
Changes in ventilatory capacity during the work shift were studied in workers exposed to tea dust in tea-packing plants, wood dust in two furniture factories, and virtually no dust in an inoperational power station. The FEV1 and FVC in workers exposed to dust were found to decline during the work shift by a small but significant volume. The MMFR, Vmax 50% and Vmax 75% were to variable to display any trend. No dose-response relationship could be discerned between the fall in workers' ventilatory capacity and the concentrations of airborne dust or microbes to which they were exposed. Bronchodilators could reverse the fall in FEV1.
PMCID: PMC1069286  PMID: 7317296
5.  Circadian rhythms in peak expiratory flow rate in workers exposed to cotton dust. 
Thorax  1984;39(10):759-765.
One hundred and sixty two people working in various departments of cotton spinning and weaving mills measured and recorded their own peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) at two hourly intervals during Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday of the same work week, from waking in the morning throughout the day until going to bed and a last time the following morning after waking. The circadian rhythm in PEFR was computed by the Halberg program. The mean amplitude of the rhythm in the group was found to be 3.3% and the acrophase fell approximately in the middle of the waking hours. Older workers and those claiming to suffer from symptoms of chronic bronchitis were found to have an amplitude significantly higher (4.1% and 3.9% respectively) than their younger or symptom free counterparts (2.6% and 2.9% respectively; p less than 0.03). The amplitude of cardroom workers (2.4%), workers with byssinosis (2.7%), and those with much exposure to airborne cotton dust (3.3%) and bacteria (2.9%) tended to be lower than that of less exposed groups such as office staff (3.9%), though the difference was significant only in the case of cardroom workers (p less than 0.04). This may be due to airborne contaminants in the working environment.
PMCID: PMC459914  PMID: 6495244

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