The textile mill workers are continuously exposed to cotton dust which may lead to different respiratory disorders such as byssinosis, respiratory tract irritation, COPD etc. producing larger rate of decline in pulmonary functions and occupational hypertension. The present study was carried out to assess exposure effects of cotton dust on oxidant and antioxidant status which may induce related health hazards. 90 cotton industry workers and 30 healthy controls were screened for serum lipid peroxide (MDA) and serum nitric oxide as oxidants and superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase and catalase as antioxidants. Total antioxidant status was also measured. The cotton industry workers were divided in three groups. Group I included workers with 5 to 9 years exposure to cotton dust while group II and III workers were exposed to cotton dust for 10 to 14 years and 15 to 19 years respectively. Highly significant increase in serum MDA and NO? was observed in all groups of cotton industry workers as compared to controls. The activities of SOD, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase were found to be significantly decreased in group II and III workers. Our study demonstrated significant decrease in catalase activity and total antioxidant status in all groups of cotton industry workers. From our study, it is evident that cotton dust exposure induces oxidative stress among textile industry workers. As duration of exposure is increased, the effect is enhanced. This resulting oxidative stress may contribute to respiratory disorders observed in these workers.