ALEXANDRIA, Va. — To address emerging confusion due to the disposable wiper industry’s most recent attack on the hygiene of clean shop towels, Textile Rental Services Association of America (TRSA) member companies are explaining to users of these laundered products the frivolity of claims that these goods contain trace amounts of ingestible metals.
TRSA has made the case against the validity of the analysis publicized July 11 that updates findings from 2003 for the International Nonwovens & Disposables Association (INDA).
In their new documentation, researchers for Gradient Corp., which also conducted the 2003 INDA study, noted they examined only 10 towels to reach their conclusions. They produced no evidence of any harm from use of these items, insinuating that metals could migrate from towels to users’ hands but offering no evidence that any such transfer occurs.
The analysis does not prove the presence of metals in washed shop towels, TRSA notes, and if any were present, they could not escape because laundering would bind them to towel fibers.
“The findings assume that workers wipe their lips with a laundered shop towel twice a day,” observes TRSA President Joseph Ricci. “Such a baseless assumption serves no purpose other than to strike fear and create doubt.”
Even the researchers noted their lack of methodology for evaluating exposure to metals from towels.
“The hygienic and economic benefits of using laundered goods have long been realized by manufacturing and service industries but have rarely been publicized,” Ricci says. “Marketers of disposables cannot deliver these same attributes so they are determined to spend whatever money is necessary to discredit reusables instead.”