Byssinosis, also called brown lung disease, is common among textile workers who make upholstery, towels, socks, bed linens, and clothes. Workers can inhale particles released from cotton or other materials. "When cotton is ripped apart, it creates huge amounts of dust and can cause significant airflow obstruction," Dr. Harber says.
Smoking increases the risk. Wearing a mask and improving ventilation in the work environment can be beneficial.More from Health.com: 3 ways to manage breathing problems