Full Text
(137 K)

The Influence of Personal Characteristics, Current and Retrospective Dust Exposure and Cigarette Smoking on Daily and Weekly Variations of Lung Function in Textile Spinners

Christopher J. Warburton, Angela M. Fletcher, C. Anthony C. Pickering, Robert McL. Niven, Lesley A. Oldham, Helen C. Francis


196 textile spinning operatives from Lancashire were interviewed using a modified Medical Research Council Respiratory Symptoms Questionairre. All performed spirometry at the beginning and at the end of their first and fourth shifts of the working week. 155 also performed bronchial reactivity (BR) testing at the same time. Across shift changes on both days, and across week changes in spirometry and BR were calculated.

No difference between the sexes could be demonstrated. Asian operatives demonstrate smaller across shift and across week variations in spirometry than whites. Current cotton (as opposed to manmade fibre) exposure was associated with lower baseline lung function but no differences between the cotton and manmade fibre groups were demonstrated during the working week. Current high cotton exposure was associated with an significant rise in bronchial reactivity across the first shift of the working week, and an increase across the working week. Those operatives who had a long history of cotton dust exposure demonstrated the smallest across week changes in spirometry suggesting either a tolerance or a self-selection effect. Cigarette smoking was associated with reduced baseline spirometry and raised baseline BR. Significant across week decreases in spirometry were seen in smokers only.

Cigarette smoking has the most consistent effect upon the physiological response to textile dust exposure. Asian operatives may have a reduced susceptibility to the acute and possibly the chronic effects of dust exposure. High current cotton dust exposure is associated with acute increases in BR, however since the physiology of cotton and manmade fibre exposed operatives is similar during the working week, other factors (in particular smoking) seem to be more important than the current type and level of dust exposure in producing across shift and across week variations in spirometry.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1996 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 307 - 312
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

[Main TOC] | [TOC] | [TOC by Section] | [Search] | [Help]
Previous Page [Previous] [Next] Next Page
Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998