Foreign material can contaminate seed cotton and lint, resulting in blemished finished goods.
U.S. cotton producers are competing with man-made fibers and foreign cotton in today’s global marketplace. In this highly competitive business environment, one of cotton’s greatest attributes - its pure, natural quality - can be degraded by a variety of adulterants. Non-cotton impurities such as plastic, nylon, oil and grease can impair producers’ relationships with textile manufacturers, undermine promotional activities and threaten U.S. cotton’s excellent reputation.
Contaminants can end up in finished yarn and fabric products, resulting in defective fabrics and clothing seconds sold at a fraction of their original value. Tainted products are costly to textile manufacturers and undermine consumer appeal. Spinners carefully calculate which raw materials they can blend to produce yarns and fabrics that satisfy their customers. There’s no room for contaminated cotton lint in that mix.
This web page is based on the best information available and is offered as an educational service for the benefit of the U.S. cotton industry. This web page is in no way intended to be an endorsement of any product or manufacturer. The National Cotton Council, National Cotton Ginners Association and USDA-ARS cannot be held responsible for problems associated with lint contamination.
To the best of our knowledge the list of potential sources of contamination describes the major kinds of contaminants. In any growing area, there are other sources of potential contaminants, both natural and man made, that should be identified and removed prior to harvesting and ginning. Persons involved in harvesting, ginning, storing and transporting both seed cotton and cotton bales should be aware of all potential sources of contamination.