ARTA focuses on tackling C.difficile risk

9 March 2016

An overview of a new study by the American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA) into the effectiveness of the wash process in killing Clostridium difficile will be one of the key topics at the association's 2016 education conference.
Speaker Kevin McLaren, a microbiologist for Gurtler Industries, will share preliminary data from the study, which is being underwritten by ARTA with assistance from Gurtler Industries.
The objective of the study is to determine the efficacy of a standard laundering process on the removal from fabric and killing of C. diff spores. Phase I of the study will review the efficacy of various washing and bleaching chemicals, individually, on the C. diff spores in typical laundering conditions, according to Nancy Jenkins, ARTA executive director.
Depending on the results of Phase 1, if needed, the study will continue with Phase II. This second phase will look at the cumulative effect of the laundering process on C. diff by exposing contaminated fabric to sequential treatments of alkali wash, alkali + detergent wash, bleach, rinse, and sour.
She said recent cases had shown contaminated linens were linked to deaths of patients. "While we know that this contamination occurred during transport and/or in storage at the hospital, it is more important than ever for launderers and chemical suppliers to be able to verify that best practices for processing linen do ensure that C.difficile is killed," she added.
Nearly 150 operators and suppliers were expected to attend the two-day bi-ennial conference, which takes place from 9 - 11 March at the J W Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida.

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