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item Brushwood, Donald

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/1999
Publication Date: 6/1/2000
Citation: Brushwood, D.E. A survey of metals found in non-domestic raw cottons. Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conference, National Cotton Council, Memphis, TN. 2000. p 1546-1548.

Interpretive Summary: The presence of metals on cottons can affect cotton processing and finished yarn quality. Certain metals can contribute to yellowness in raw cotton and finished goods. Still other metals may create frictional problems in textile processing, particularly in rotor spinning and needle wear in knitting. Also, complex salts that inhibit levelness in dyeing and finishing on cotton goods may be formed by the presence of such metals as calcium and magnesium. Finally, safety and environmental restrictions on metals in solid and liquid waste from commercial fabric production are strict and expected to become stricter. U. S. mills have increased importation of non-domestic cottons in the last ten years. However, little or no information on metals in these cottons has been available. We conducted a brief survey of imported cottons from five non-domestic growing areas and compared measured metal contents to those of domestically-grown cottons. Metal concentrations in the non- domestic cottons studied were much more variable than U. S. grown cottons. Higher concentrations of such undesirable metals such as iron, and calcium were found in cottons grown in several non-domestic areas.

Technical Abstract: Information about levels of metals in non-domestic raw cottons is limited or non-existent. Because of increased importation of these cottons for domestic consumption in recent years, interest in their metal content has increased for a number of reasons. High levels of certain metals may cause problems in yarn manufacturing, fabric production, dyeing and finishing, and considerations involving textile wastes in commercial fabric production. A limited study of metals in raw cottons from Africa, China, Greece, Syria and Russian was conducted. General comparisons of metals in these cottons and those found in four growing areas in the U. S. were made. In general, foreign cotton metal contents were much more variable than domestically grown cottons. Calcium levels in three of these growing areas were determined to be 10 or 20% higher than domestic cottons. Iron content for the limited number of African and Greek cottons studies were also higher than U. S. cottons.