OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

August 17, 1984


FROM:            John B. Miles, Jr., Director 
                 Directorate of Field Operations

SUBJECT:         Reginned Cotton

You may occasionally encounter reginned cotton being used to manufacture yarn. Reginned cotton is raw cotton, which means that the permissible exposure limit for such an operation is the 200 microgram per cubic meter limit defined at 29 CFR 1910.1043(c)(1) in the Cotton Dust Standard. It therefore also follows that the permissible exposure limit for the processes of slashing and weaving of yarn manufactured from reginned cotton is the 750 microgram per cubic meter limit defined at 29 CFR 1910. 1043(c)(2).

The official definition of reginned cotton may be found in the April 1980 revision of Agriculture Handbook Number 566 entitled "the Classification of Cotton," published by Agriculture Marketing Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. The definition is repeated here for convenience:

Reginned cotton is cotton that has passed through the ginning process more than once. A bale of cotton is considered reginned when it is opened after the initial ginning and baling for the purpose of putting the lint through machinery to regin, clean, blend, or otherwise process the lint, and is then rebaled. Cotton which passes through one or more stages of lint cleaning as a regular part of the initial ginning process is not reginned.

The handbook also relates:

The rules of cotton futures exchanges in the United States provide severe penalties for any person who knowingly offers for inspection or delivery on futures contracts any cotton that has been reginned. Samples from reginned cotton are classified as other samples, but the notation for "Reginned" is entered immediately before the grade on the classification memorandum.