Submitted to: Transactions of the ASAE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/28/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Determination of the level of endotoxin is part of a larger research program to fully characterize the composition of gin particulate emissions. Endotoxin levels from cotton gin emissions are important because it is known that prolonged exposure at high enough levels can result in respiratory health problems. Seed cotton from eleven cotton producing states across the cotton belt was ginned and particulate emission samples were collected. Endotoxin content of the particulate was then determined using accepted analysis procedures. The laboratory results were then used to estimate the level of endotoxin exposure that would occur at a gin boundary line and its possible health risks. The estimated level of exposure from gin emissions was determined to be orders of magnitude below the level at which the Federal government has determined would affect even the most sensitive individual.
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, Miss. or Mesilla Park, N.Mex., USDA, ARS cotton ginning laboratories. Particulate emissions during ginning were sampled from the exhausts of the unloader separator and the first lint cleaner and particulate captured by the unloader cyclone. Proximate and endotoxin analyses were performed on emission particulate sampled from the exhausts, and the particulate captured by the cyclone. Proximate analysis showed that gin external emissions are lower in cellulose and higher in noncellulosic plant material and inorganic soil particles (ash) than cotton textile mill workplace dust. Endotoxin analysis showed that the airborne concentrations 100 m from the gin exhausts are below the reported levels that potentially produce respiratory yhealth concerns.