GENEVA — A new global industry survey has found that approximately 26 percent of raw cotton sold in the past two years were seriously or moderately contaminated with foreign particles, a problem that poses a major?operational concern for the cotton-spinning industry worldwide.

The study concluded that 8 percent of all cotton evaluated was found to be seriously contaminated by 16 types of matter including leaves, feathers, paper, and inorganic matter in the form of sand or dust, up from 6 percent reported in the last survey, which is taken every two years.

A further 18 percent was moderately contaminated, also up compared with 16 percent in 2001, noted the report from the International Textile Manufacturers Federation.

The ITMF study draws on 75 crops evaluated by 225 spinning mills in 23 countries.

Findings of the Cotton Contamination Survey 2003, also said, “The most contaminated descriptions continue to originate in India, Turkey, and Central Asia, (Uzbekistani and Tajikistani medium-staple growths).”

In contrast, the ITMF added, clean cotton can be sourced from the U.S., Zimbabwe and selected West African growers in Senegal and Chad.

The survey also found that 21 percent of all evaluations revealed stickiness, which represents deterioration from 18 percent in 2001.

The highest levels of stickiness were reported for Sudanese cotton, which reached 80 percent in the Acala crop and 56 percent in the Bakarat crop, followed by Cameroon with 59 percent.

It also found that 41 percent of the American growths, Pima and California were reported to be sticky in 2003.

The report said 17 cotton growths recorded contamination levels in more than 50 percent of their samples with the problem particularly serious in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and India.

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