Cotton dust, raw

Agent Name
Cotton dust, raw
Major Category
Biological Agents
Cotton; Flax; Soft hemp; Kapok
Plant & Animal Dusts/Aerosols
Highest exposures from opening, picking, carding, and blowing fibers; Lower risk for spinning, winding, and twisting; weavers have the lowest risk; Byssinosis is also seen in other industries (cottonseed oil extraction, cotton waste utilization and mattress/bedding) and in workers exposed to soft hemp, flax, and sisal dusts. [Levy, p. 416]
Raw, unprocessed cotton dust causes byssinosis. After a heavy exposure, cotton, flax, hemp, and kapok dusts can also cause "mill fever." [Rom, p. 410]
Biomedical References

Exposure Assessment

Skin Designation (ACGIH)
Insufficient data
0.1 mg/m3, thoracic fraction
1 mg/m3, resp. dust, measured by vertical elutriator
1.5 mg/m3, inhalable fraction
100 mg/m3
Excerpts from Documentation for IDLHs
Note: The 1 mg/m3 OSHA PEL for cotton dust applies to the cotton waste processing operations of waste recycling (sorting, blending, cleaning, and willowing) and garnetting. In other sectors involving cotton, OSHA currently requires in 29 CFR 1919.1043 that workers be provided with and required to wear and use a powered, air­purifying respirator equipped with high­efficiency particulate filters in concentrations exceeding 100 × the applicable OSHA PEL of either 0.2, 0.5, or 0.75 mg/m3.
Half Life
Accumulates in the lungs; [TDR, p. 401]

Adverse Effects

Chronic Bronchitis
ACGIH Carcinogen
Not Classifiable

Diseases, Processes, and Activities Linked to This Agent


Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:


Industrial Processes with risk of exposure:


Activities with risk of exposure: