Exposure to cotton dust causes acute and chronic respiratory illness. Byssinosis is the acute chest tightness and/or shortness of breath that initially occurs on the first day of work following a weekend. Those affected are workers who prepare fibers for spinning. It eventually progresses to affect workers on all working days and ultimately causes a permanent decrease in ventilatory capacity. The same symptoms are associated with the processing of flax, hemp, and sisal for textiles. Early stage periodicity is the best way to distinguish it from asthma and other obstructive airway diseases (31,32,33).

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