The textile industry involves the process used to convert fibres into finished fabrics or garments. Several health risks are related to working within this industry. Exposure to some textile processes can put workers at risk for developing diseases such as cancer or respiratory problems.
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Exposure to Cotton Dust
Workers who are involved with spinning cotton are exposed to cotton dust as well as particles of pesticides and soil. Exposure to these elements is known to lead to respiratory disorders among the workers. The fatal condition known as brown lung is prevalent in this industry and is caused by excessive exposure to cotton dust. In 1938, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) set guidelines regarding exposure to cotton dust because it was estimated that 35,000 people already had been affected by the disease.
Exposure to Chemicals
Textile workers who are engaged in activities such as dyeing, printing and finishing are exposed to chemicals that can cause major health issues. According to the Fibre 2 Fashion website, studies have revealed links between exposure to formaldehyde to leukaemia, nasal, lung and brain cancer. In the long term, exposure to these chemicals can foster the development of respiratory difficulty and eczema.
Exposure to Noise
Over a long period of time, exposure to noise has been known to cause damage to the ear drums as well as hearing loss. Noise has also been known to cause fatigue, anxiety and a lack of productivity. High levels of noise have been documented within the textile industry, according to Fibre 2 Fashion.
Issues such as unstable furniture, bad lighting and poor ventilation have been noticed in the textile industry of developing countries. These units provide a workspace that is dangerous and unhealthy for workers. The workers in the textile mills are at risk for developing occupational disorders such as musculoskeletal disorders such as carpel tunnel syndrome and tendinitis.
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