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Steaming of cotton to prevent byssinosis—a plant study
  1. Harold R. Imbus,
  2. Moon W. Suh
  1. 1Burlington Industries, Inc., 3330 West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro, North Carolina 27410, USA


    Imbus, H. R. and Suh, M. W. (1974).British Journal of Industrial Medicine,31, 209-219. Steaming of cotton to prevent byssinosis—a plant study. Pulmonary function tests, respiratory questionnaires, and dust measurements were made in a cotton spinning plant during the processing of steamed cotton and after its discontinuance. During steaming the average drop in FEV1 (Δ FEV1) from the beginning to six hours into the work shift was 19 ml, and after steaming was discontinued 62 ml. In addition, the FEV1 measurements, before work on the first day of the work week, were 60 to 100 ml higher during the time of steaming. The improvement in Δ FEV1 with steaming was much greater for males than for females. Improvement was greatest in the higher dust areas, namely, opening, picking, blending, and carding, and less in spinning, winding, and twisting. Questionnaire results did not reveal any significant difference in the incidence of symptoms of byssinosis during the two periods, the reasons for which are not clear. There was an approximately 30% reduction in elutriated and total dust.

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