Generation of the Cotton Dust during Manufacturing:
- Ginning factories discharge large amounts of cotton
dusts. Cotton ginning and pressing have been identified as traditional
industries under the unorganized sector which functions on a seasonal
- Major problem of cotton dust exists in the blow room
and carding section of spinning mill whereas exposure level in other areas
is comparatively not much.
- Poor Relative Humidity follow-up in the department.
- Blow-down, or blow-off, is the cleaning of equipment
and surfaces with compressed air.
- Cleaning of clothing or floors with compressed air.
- Improper handling of waste during transportation.
- Insufficient ventilation system.
- Improper suction system in the key areas such as blow
room and carding and wherever there is a chance of dust generation.
- When materials such as laps, sliver cans and roving
bobbins are delayed in process or stored for an extended period in an area
where there is a likelihood of significant dust or lint accumulation. Poor
follow-up in covering the material leads to dust formation.
- Usage of spring loaded cans and carts as waste
receptacles creating dust dispersion during compression of the spring
- Poor working procedures and cleaning methods.
Health Hazards Associated with Cotton Dust Exposure:
Workers exposed to cotton dust laden environment generally
become patients of byssinosis.
It is a breathing disorder that
occurs in some individuals with exposure to raw cotton dust. Characteristically,
workers exhibit shortness of breath and/or the feeling of chest tightness when
returning to work after being in the mill for a day or more. There may be
increased cough and phlegm production.
Change in the levels of ESR, LDH3
and Histamine may be used as indicators to assess pulmonary dysfunction in the
workers those are exposed to cotton dust. It was suggested that the low
hemoglobin and poor immunity against diseases may also predispose the out come
pulmonary dysfunction at an earlier stage. Cotton dust extract induces the
release of histamine from samples of human lung tissue in vitro. Therefore it
is believed that histamine release is responsible for the major symptoms of
byssinosis, viz, "chest tightness".
Dr. Richard Schilling, a British physician
developed a system of grading workers based on their breathing complaints on
the first workday of the week. Schillings classification grades byssinosis
according to how far it has progressed. Schillings classifications are as
- Grade 0 = No complaints of
- Grade 1/2 = Chest tightness
and/or shortness of breath sometimes on the first day of the workweek.
- Grade 1 = Chest tightness
and/or shortness of breath always on the first day of the workweek.
- Grade 2 = Chest tightness
and/or shortness of breath on the first workday and on other days of the
- Grade 3 = Chest tightness and/or shortness of breath on
the first workday and other days as well as impairment of lung function.
It is believed that the degree or severity
of response for individuals with symptoms of byssinosis is related to the dust
level in the workplace. The beginning steps in yarn preparation generally
produce more dust. Therefore, the closer to the beginning of the process, the
higher will be the dust level and the more likely the pulmonary reaction or
response for some workers.