Working in cotton industry

Hi all I was wondering if anyone who has a lung condition has ever worked in a factory which produces cotton wool, surgical products. As I keep searching for an answer as to why I have ILD it keeps being mentioned about working in environments which were particularly dusty. I worked back in the 80's operating machinery which made cotton wool balls and even though it was very heavy in the air with dusty particles no one was told of any risks from breathing this in. As no one knows what causes ILD I keep searching for an answer.

22 Replies

  • hi I don't know about ild but breathing in the particles wouldn't help your lungs but in the 80s early 90s people didn't take no notice of dust health and safety wasn't strict like it is now , most doctors seem reluctant to blame work environment on most lung conditions , I have emphysema when diagnosed doctors couldn't make out why lung so bad for age one said even with smoking from early age and being heavy smoker for 27 years they shouldn't be like they are yet , when I explained I worked in dust from a toddler and exposed to chemicals that burnt your throat as soon as you got a tiny whiff of it , and when bagging animal feed I was coughing up black dust for hours after he reckon it wouldn't be that but I think it must have something to do with it if it wasn't all to do with the smoking

  • Thankyou for your reply. Your right about working in harsh environments. I agree with you also, just because you smoked, they put every ailment down to that. I think its the easy way out for the doctors

  • Hi Craftyone, I agree with you about doctors blaming smoking for lung conditions. I've never smoked but my lungs are in a bad way. The fact that I wasn't a smoker is mentioned regularly by my doctors. And I can feel their frustration and know that if I had been a smoker, that it would all have been blamed on that. Good luck with your research.

  • It is good to have answers craftygirl and l hope you do find some. Pete used to work in the confines of a cargo aircraft with all sorts of goods but no mask or ear defenders. I wish you well. Xxx

  • Thankyou you Sassy girl. I hope so 😊

  • Hi craftyone

    I don't know about the cotton industry, but l am sure it couldn't have been very good for your lungs.

    It's the Doctors stock response, smoking caused your lung problems, it's the easy way out for them.

    I had near fatal mumps at 6 weeks's now known that this could be a contributing factor.

    Did the Doctor consider it.....NO.

    I worked in science laboratory's for years using lots of what is now known to be toxic chemicals, never given a face mask to use...even as late as the 90s l worked in a haematology laboratory using very complex chemicals which have now been reclassified as toxic.

    Did the Doctor consider it.....NO.

    I wish you luck in searching for an answer.

    Velvet xx

  • Thankyou Velvet. I hope you can get sorted out as well. Jenny. X

  • That was awful to have mumps when you were just a little baby velvet. Your parents must have been distraught and did brilliantly to get you through it. ..Toxic chemicals and working with them...just guinea pigs - guinea pigs. We just never know 100% do we even now. There was a British film made in the forties called The Guinea Pig, with a young Richard Attenbrough - it was the first British film to have the word "arse" said out loud. I'm meandering. Sorry.


  • Hi Jennifer

    I made a mistake...l'm brain dead today...l've had the twins for two days running.....It was whooping cough, and l was extremely ill

    My Mum used to sit all night with me in the steamy bathroom to keep me breathing...

    As for the film, using the word arse, how times have change !

  • It's ok - I imagine your head must be all over the place for a while after looking after twins! My Daughter had whooping cough when she was three and the only advice we got was to keep her warm and plenty of fluids. It is a horrible horrible thing to see your baby choking. We did all the usual stuff like your Mum did and halving an onion and sitting it on a saucer of sugar, taking honey and raspberry vinegar etc etc. It lasted all winter and then just as suddenly went in the Spring, but then she started with Bronchial Asthma which she grew out of when she was 14.

    Keep smiling:-)

  • Hi

    Lung disease in textile workers.

  • Craftyone - yes. I worked in a Cotton Mill in the fifties. My office was directly underneath I think it was three floors of looms. My Company made all types of curtain and heading Tape and gun webbing.

    There was always a huge amount of fibres floating about even with the door closed. You can imagine a huge mill and the noise of the looms was horrendous, until they shut down for three quarters of an hour at lunch time. I don't think risks were ever mentioned or even thought of then - we just got on with it. I met my first real boyfriend there - an engineer, and we are still in touch - he is 83. I also met my first husband there, a weaver, - we are not in touch.

    I don't know what ILD is but I have moderate copd.


  • Hi Jennifer I am sure the fibres contributed to my condition but its finding a president case. Jenny

  • Thankyou everyone for responding to my post on working in cotton industry and the association with ILD. The information provided has now given me something to work on. Jenny

  • I worked in sewing factory towards the end they began issuing face masks

  • I have family with past lung disease worked in pubs and sewing factory plus smoked for a while and had a open fire upto a few years ago. So as my consultant and respiratory nurse said take my pick on cause of mine

  • hi there my ex-wife many years ago used to work in the cotton industry, she was an overlocker is that what they was called? i was a miner at the time, but yes she had to finish work do to dust fibers getting on her lungs, and like you she was never told, if my memory is correct she got paid out a large sum because of the damaged it caused. hope this helps, please don't ask me to ask my ex-wife anything i've kept away from her now for nearly 15 years and that's how i like it. take care hope you can get some answer. Alan

  • Hi Alan that's the information I need just to know of someone who has previously been ill due to working with cotton. Thankyou. I hope you've got your hot water bottle ready for tonight, its cold here in Derbyshire, trying to snow OMG . Jenny

  • hi Jenny may i say just between me and you, i don't need a hot water bottle, i'm to warm blooded even in winter, where in derbyshire are you from, i'm from Worksop Nottinghamshire. it tried snowing here early take care Alan xx

  • Hi Alan I'm from Chesterfield near Hardwick Hall so not that far from you.. What you really mean is you don't need a hot water bottle because your hot stuff ........ ha ha ha. It is good to laugh.


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