Blending of different grades of tea is a very dusty process which exposes workers to a fine fluff. One hundred and twenty-five tea blenders with an average service of 22.9 years in the industry were interviewed according to a standard questionnaire, and submitted to a clinical and radiographical examination. The examination was repeated eight and 31 months later. A total of 46 workers (36%) had respiratory illness, 31 had chronic bronchitis (24.8%), eight had asthma (6.4%), and seven had active or inactive pulmonary tuberculosis (5.6%). The prevalence of chronic bronchitis and asthma was more than that expected in the general population. It is suggested that these two conditions are aetiologically related to long-term exposure to tea fluff.
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