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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

Byssinosis is an occupational lung disease associated with exposure to cotton dust.

It is thought to result from endotoxins released by bacteria present in cotton dust which cause constriction of the airways. Symptoms are not induced by exposure to pure cotton.

Typically, the symptoms of cough, breathlessness and a tight chest are most severe on Monday morning, following the weekend break. They gradually regress during the week.

In the UK, byssinosis is largely confined to Lancashire and Northern Ireland.

Precipitating antibodies are not present in this condition.

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