Cotton dust and across-shift change in FEV1 as predictors of annual change in FEV1

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1994 Mar;149(3 Pt 1):584-90. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.149.3.8118622.


In this report of a 5-yr longitudinal study of workers employed at six cotton textile mills, exposure and across-shift FEV1 change were evaluated as possible predictors of the annual change in FEV1 for yarn manufacturing workers. A total of 611 workers had three repeatable spirometric tests, over at least 3 yr, and at least one (average of three) across-shift test, while always working the same shift. The "same shift" criterion controlled for the effect of diurnal variation. Average exposure was determined from measures of lint-free elutriated cotton dust in combination with job histories. This study found a significant association between the acute and chronic effects of cotton dust exposure. Both exposure and across-shift change proved to be significant predictors of annual change, and excess annual declines in FEV1 were predicted even for exposures of 200 micrograms/m3 and across-shift drops in FEV1 of 200 ml. These results suggest that, to prevent dust-related chronic decline in lung function, current smokers should be excluded from yarn manufacturing work and exposures should be reduced below 200 micrograms/m3, to approximately 100 micrograms/m3.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Bronchitis / classification
  • Bronchitis / diagnosis
  • Bronchitis / etiology
  • Bronchitis / physiopathology*
  • Byssinosis / classification
  • Byssinosis / diagnosis
  • Byssinosis / etiology
  • Byssinosis / physiopathology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Dust / adverse effects
  • Dust / analysis*
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forced Expiratory Volume*
  • Gossypium*
  • Humans
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Male
  • Maximum Allowable Concentration
  • Occupational Diseases / classification
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Occupations
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Textiles
  • United States
  • United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration


  • Dust