What are the environmental impacts of cuprammonium rayon?
Cuprammonium rayon is a type of regenerated fiber that is produced from the cotton linters pulp and wood pulp. This means that the raw materials used are the agricultural by-products which are collected after the cotton cultivation or the post-consumer cotton waste like old or discarded cotton clothing items. Though the material is manufactured from waste, there is a serious problem associated with the manufacturing process of Cuprammonium rayon fiber.
This issue is the use of wasteful auxiliary hazardous chemicals in the manufacturing process of fiber. Chemicals like sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid which are used in manufacturing are both corrosive in nature and need proper safety and care during handling. The ammonia solution is also corrosive in nature and its human exposure can cause a burning sensation in the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract. This may result in serious problems like blindness, lung damages or even death. Hence proper disposal of all these toxic substances is one of the biggest issues.
Although these chemicals are only used in manufacturing and not in the end products as they are scoured and removed from the final end product. Due to the application of different types of chemicals like softeners, dyes, finishing agents, etc, makes the cellulosic fiber which is biodegradable in nature becomes hard to decompose. Even the copper used in making cuprammonium solutions are sourced from virgin sources.