A Clinical and Environmental Study of Byssinosis in the Lancashire Cotton Industry

S. A. Roach, R. S. F. Schilling
1960 Occupational and Environmental Medicine  
The prevalence of byssinosis was measured in a population of 189 male and 780 female workers employed in three coarse and two fine cotton mills. Ninety-eight per cent. of the male and 96% of the female population were seen. The workers were graded by their histories as follows: Grade 0-No symptoms of chest tightness or breathlessness on Mondays Grade I-Occasional chest tightness on Mondays, or mild symptoms such as irritation of the respiratory tract on Mondays Grade 1-Chest tightness and/or
more » ... athlessness on Mondays only Grade 2-Chest tightness and/or breathlessness on Mondays and other days The dust concentrations to which the workers were exposed were measured with a dust-sampling instrument based on the hexhlet. Altogether 505 working places were sampled. In the card-rooms of the coarse mills 63 % of the men and 48 % of the women had symptoms of byssinosis. In the card-rooms of the fine mills the corresponding prevalences were 7 % for the men, and 6% for the women. Prevalences were low in the spinning-rooms in the coarse mills. The mean dust concentrations in the different rooms ranged from 90 mg./100 m.3 in one section of the card-room in a fine mill, to 440 mg./100 m.3 in one of the card-rooms of the coarse spinning mills. The prevalence of byssinosis in the different rooms was closely related to the overall dustiness (r = 0-93). For the three main constituents of the dust, namely, cellulose, protein, and ash, the prevalence of byssinosis correlated most highly with protein, particularly with the protein in the medium-sized dust particles, i.e., approximately 7 microns to 2 mm. Byssinosis is caused by the dust produced when 1 on 29 April 2019 by guest. Protected by copyright.
doi:10.1136/oem.17.1.1 fatcat:h3fg42pdgjgjxko4b6vf4l3sza