Cotton, crude fibers

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Code: o1
Positive skin tests in cotton textile workers have been demonstrated with extracts of cotton dust, linters and cloth (1, 4, 7).

Allergen Exposure

Cotton fibers are the crude material of the cotton plant. These fibers form one part of the heterogeneous cotton dust found in the air of cotton textile factories. 
 
Occupational allergy is a subject of great importance. The spinning-mill is a working place considered to have a high risk of onset of allergic diseases (1).

Potential Cross-Reactivity

No information available.

Clinical Experience

It has been suggested that the higher the concentration of cotton dust and the longer a person is exposed, the higher the risk of developing byssinosis, chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma and other respiratory problems (2). Positive skin tests in cotton textile workers have been demonstrated with extracts of cotton dust, linters and cloth (1, 4, 7). Uchikoshi et al (1) reported positive skin tests in 42.1% (extracts from cotton linters) and 26.3% (extracts from cotton cloth) among workers with nasal allergy. Zuskin et al (7) reported positive skin tests in 33.3% of included cotton workers.
 
The prevalence of respiratory diseases among cotton textile workers has been reported by several groups (1-6) and has been shown to be higher among dust-exposed workers as compared to non-exposed individuals in the general population. The prevalence of the specific syndrome byssinosis varies between different studies. It has been found to be over 40% in some investigations (2, 3).

Review
Cotton fibers are the crude material of the cotton plant. These fibers form one part of the heterogeneous cotton dust found in the air of cotton textile factories. Occupational allergy is a subject of great importance. The spinning-mill is a working place considered to have a high risk of onset of allergic diseases (1). It has been suggested that the higher the concentration of cotton dust and the longer a person is exposed, the higher the risk of developing byssinosis, chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma and other respiratory problems (2).

The prevalence of respiratory diseases among cotton textile workers has been reported by several groups (1-6) and has been shown to be higher among dust exposed workers as compared to non-exposed individuals in the general population. The prevalence of the specific syndrome byssinosis varies between different studies. It has been found to be over 40% in some investigations (2, 3).

Positive skin tests in cotton textile workers have been demonstrated with extracts of cotton dust, linters and cloth (1, 4, 7). Uchikoshi et al (1) reported positive skin tests in 42.1% (extracts from cotton linters) and 26.3% (extracts from cotton cloth) among workers with nasal allergy. Zuskin et al (7) reported positive skin tests in 33.3% of included cotton workers.

References

  1. Uchikoshi S, Nomura K, Saitoh S, Komatsu N, Chien C, Miyake H. Nasal allergy in spinning mill workers and the possibility of allergenicity of chemical fibers and cotton linters. Tokai Journal of Experimental & Clinical Medicine 1981;6(4):363-71.
  2. Woldeyohannes M, Bergevin Y, Mgeni AY, Theriault G. Respiratory problems among cotton textile mill workers in Ethiopia. British Journal of Industrial Medicine 1991;48(2):110-5.
  3. Abebe Y, Seboxa T. Byssinosis and other respiratory disorders among textile mill workers in Bahr Dar northwest Ethiopia. Ethiopian Medical Journal 1995;33(1):37-49.
  4. Jones RN, Butcher BT, Hammad YY, Diem JE, Glindmeyer HWd, Lehrer SB, et al. Interaction of atopy and exposure to cotton dust in the bronchoconstrictor response. British Journal of Industrial Medicine 1980;37(2):141-6.
  5. Mengesha YA, Bekele A. Relative chronic effects of different occupational dusts on respiratory indices and health of workers in three Ethiopian factories. American Journal of Industrial Medicine 1998;34(4):373-80.
  6. Petronio L, Bovenzi M. Byssinosis and serum IgE concentrations in textile workers in an Italian cotton mill. British Journal of Industrial Medicine 1983;40(1):39-44.
  7. Zuskin E, Kanceljak B, Schachter EN, Witek TJ, Mustajbegovic J, Maayani S, et al. Immunological findings and respiratory function in cotton textile workers. International Archives of Occupational & Environmental Health 1992;64(1):31-7.

As in all diagnostic testing, the diagnosis is made by the physican based on both test results and the patient history.