(bis″ĭ-nō′sĭs) [Gr. byssos, fine flax, fine linen + -osis] A reactive airways disease of cotton, flax, and hemp workers. Byssinosis is caused by the inhalation of dust and foreign materials, including bacteria, mold, and fungi. The disease does not occur in textile workers who work with cotton after it is bleached. It is marked by symptomatic wheezing and tightness in the chest. Symptoms are usually more pronounced at the beginning of each work week than later on. SEE: pneumonoconiosis.
Damage to cells that occurs secondarily after neighboring cells are exposed to a chemical, infectious, or physical agent that stimulates the neighbor cells to unleash an immune response or cytotoxin.