Skip to comments.Working In A Cotton Mill Has A Bright Side
Posted on 03/30/2007 3:38:40 PM PDT by blam
Working in a cotton mill has bright side
People who work amid bales of raw cotton are less likely to get lung cancer than are people in the general population, a study of Chinese women indicates.
While past research has shown that workers in a cotton mill tend to develop shortness of breath, chronic cough, and other health problems, some scientists also noted less lung cancer than they had expected.
In the first long-term study to quantify such anticancer effects, researchers tapped into a huge database of Shanghai women who worked in various textile mills. They identified 628 women with lung cancer and 3,184 women who didn't have the disease. Women with heavy workplace exposure to raw-cotton dust were 40 percent less likely to develop lung cancer than were women not exposed, the researchers report in the March 7 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
A separate calculation revealed that for every 100,000 Shanghai women exposed heavily to raw-cotton dust on the job, fewer than 8 develop lung cancer. In contrast, 19 were women per 100,000 in the city's population as a whole had lung cancer.
The raw cotton processed in these weaving mills contains bacteria that make a chemical called an endotoxin that can irritate the lungs, says study coauthor George Astrakianakis, an industrial hygienist at the Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare in Vancouver, British Columbia. Some studies have suggested that chronic inflammation, which endotoxins can induce, may contribute to cancer. However, Astrakianakis hypothesizes, endotoxin exposure might also spur other immune reactions that counteract inflammation, offering protection against lung cancer.
If you have a comment on this article that you would like considered for publication in Science News, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and location.
yeah but you develop eyelashes like Tammy Faye just so you don't go blind
Working in a gin mill ain't bad either.
I wonder if the"3,184 women who didn't have the disease" just died because their lungs were clogged up with cotton fibers.????
Article didn't say they lived.
Considering that most cotton mills (especially those using older technology) create massive amounts of cotton dust, which can be highly explosive, smoking is generally not permitted. Working in these mills 8-10 hours a day would seriously cut down on someones smoking habits and, theoretically, cut down on lung cancer. Just a thought.
Well it balances out then. You'll live a couple of years longer on average, coughing up a lung the whole time.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.