This study reports the results of hematological and serological tests performed on workers in the cotton industry. The data which were obtained during the firrst and last day of the work week were subjected to statistical treatment and compared with appropriate control groups. The following conclusions-pertaining to the cotton workers—seem warranted:
The number of leucocytes is normal.
The number of eosinophil granulocytes is slightly elevated in workers who have been in the cotton industry longer than 10 years, especially on the first day of the work week.
The number of thrombocytes is reduced on the first day of the work week. This reduction is independent of number of years of employment.
“Leukergie” (viz) is elevated in about 25% of the workers. This increase is independent of the day of testing and the length of the employment. It seems to be reduced during the second half of the work week (especially in persons with a short employment history).
The “Uro-precipitable-reaction” (viz) is positive in about 1/3 of the workers and their titer is elevated, especially during the first 10 years of work.
The level of the heparin-precipitable-factor is normal.
The post-vaccination titer of the Widal-reaction is elevated.
The anti-streptolysin 0-titer is elevated.
The results of the studies point to the complex development of pathological consequences stemming from the inhalation of cotton dust. The observed deviations contribute to a number of biological changes which are characteristic for the syndrome of early allergies and the effect of endotoxins.
It seems that the elevation of “Leukergie”, the positive “Uro-precipitable-reaction” and the decrease of thrombocytes during the first hours of a new work week indicate a work-related disability in employees of the cotton industry with chronic bronchitis.
During a long-term exposure to cotton dust there are probably two time periods: an early one with predominantly immunological reactions, and a second period during which such reactions disappear, but are replaced by irreversible progressive changes in the respiratory system which lead to chronic C. pulmonale.