Lung Disease in Textile Workers

This blog is part of a series for NIOSH’s 50th anniversary highlighting research and prevention throughout the Institute’s history. Background Since the 1970s, NIOSH has worked to prevent illness from cotton dust. Byssinosis is an airways disease with features of both asthma and COPD that occurs with exposure to cotton dust. In the early 1970s, the prevalence of byssinosis among US cotton workers was estimated at 20%. In 1974, NIOSH released a Criteria Document that summarized the available evidence and recommended lowering the standard from 1 to 0.2 mg/m3. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) 1978 Cotton Dust Standard