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Byssinosis is an occupational lung disease that primarily affects workers in cotton processing, hemp or flax industries. Other names for byssinosis include Monday fever, brown lung disease, mill fever or cotton workers' lung.

Learn About Byssinosis

Byssinosis causes an asthma-like breathing difficulty, usually at the beginning of the workweek and improves as the workweek progresses or dust exposure stops. Prolonged exposure may cause lung damage that resembles irreversible chronic obstructive lung disease.

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Byssinosis Symptoms, Causes and Risk Factors

Raw cotton and other textiles have many biologic materials that trigger reactions in the body, which may be an allergy response or other processes that are not fully understood. Cough, difficulty breathing and chest tightness are common.

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Diagnosing and Treating Byssinosis

The history of working in an occupation where there is exposure to textile dust with symptoms suggesting byssinosis is a common way the diagnosis is made. If the diagnosis of byssinosis is made relatively early and exposure to cotton dust is stopped, most people will have no permanent damage and have few or no symptoms.

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Recovering from Bysinossis

Avoiding exposure and inhalation of textile particles is key to treatment and recovery. Using a multidisciplinary approach with the help of the primary doctor, lung specialist, and possibly occupational medicine expert, a treatment plan can be created.

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This content was developed in partnership with the CHEST Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians.

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