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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Cotton Ginning Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #79220


item Hughs, Sidney
item ROUSSELLE, MARIE - 6435-31-00

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASAE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/5/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Cotton gins emit a certain small amount of particulate during the cotton cleaning and ginning process. Because certain crop protection and defoliation chemicals are applied during the growing and harvesting of cotton, there has been concern that these chemicals are emitted as gin particulate at levels of concern for human health. Samples of seed cotton across the cotton belt from South Carolina to California were obtained and ginned under known conditions. Representative samples of particulate emitted during the ginning process were taken and analyzed for crop protection products. Small traces of several chemicals were found on some cottons, but DEF (from cotton defoliation prior to harvest) was the only chemical found on all of the cottons. DEF was detected on the average at levels below 1 part per billion. None of the chemicals detected occurred at levels of any health concern or for meeting either EPA or OSHA regulations.

Technical Abstract: Seed cotton from producers in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas was ginned at either the Stoneville or Mesilla Park USDA, ARS Cotton Ginning Laboratories. Particulate emissions during ginning were sampled from the exhausts of the unloader separator and the first lint cleaner. The gin external emission particulate sampled from both exhausts was analyzed for crop protection products/agricultural chemicals. DEF (from defoliation) is the only substance found routinely in gin external emissions. Exposure at the boundary line (100 m from the gin exhaust) to any of the substances detected was fractions of ppb, or in the case of DEF, an average of less than 1 ppb (1 ng/m3). The air concentrations 100 m from the gin exhaust are well below levels that would produce any health concerns. Also, none of the substances detected occurred at levels of any concern for meeting either EPA or OSHA regulations.