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January 8, 1982

Exposure to Cotton Dust and Respiratory Disease-Reply

JAMA. 1982;247(2):176. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320270015012

In Reply.—  The letter by Beck et al quotes two other letters and an unpublished report to the US Labor Department. Until the latter can be reviewed in detail in a medical journal, there is no way we can evaluate their study.The fact that an earlier article1 has been "criticized" does not necessarily mean that it has been invalidated. On the contrary, we believe the comments and our responses have clarified and strengthened it. The arguments cannot be summarized here, but the reader is urged to examine the letters referenced and to evaluate this matter personally.Beck et al contend that we have "misinterpreted," "misled," and suggested "wrong conclusions" from the study by Merchant et al regarding the influence of smoking, nonsmoking, and cessation of smoking on byssinosis. Again, we urge the reader to examine the original article and our COMMENTARY.We have since found another article2