TRSA climbs The Hill to advocate for reusable healthcare PPE

18 April 2024

The advocacy efforts by the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA) continue to bolster the drive toward greater utilisation of reusable healthcare personal protective equipment (PPE) garments. Additionally, TRSA is actively working to enhance our industry’s access to federal funding for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pre-treatment.

On 11 April, TRSA members convened on Capitol Hill for a series of 118 meetings with congressional offices. Their collective dialogue resonated with policymakers, reinforcing the importance of reusable PPE and federal funding support for PFAS filtration. These discussions took place during the second day of TRSA’s 14th Annual Legislative Conference, 10-11 April, at The Madison Hotel in Washington, DC

The collective efforts of TRSA members have already generated momentum. During the 2023 TRSA Legislative Conference, representatives encouraged lawmakers to sign a letter urging the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to study the benefits of reusable PPE and explore avenues for increased adoption. Thirteen representatives endorsed the letter, which was dispatched in June.

At this year’s Hill Day, the TRSA contingent asked Congress to support increasing the operating threshold of reusable textile PPE to a minimum of 50% of healthcare facilities’ inventory. Currently, reusables comprise an estimated 10% of the U.S. market. Increasing that figure would improve environmental protection, save money and enhance supply-chain security while helping to safeguard employee and patient safety.

Some types of PFAS – chemicals found in an array of consumer and industrial products – have been linked by researchers and government agencies to adverse health conditions. This has prompted concerns, including federal standards issued on April 10 that targeted their presence in drinking water. These regulatory mandates for calling for the removal of PFAS from wastewater will result in onerous PFAS-discharge limits to sewers nationwide. Fabric manufacturers are finding PFAS substitutes for garments that now use PFAS to provide barrier properties (for example, for use in infection control and fluid resistance,). Depending on how quickly substitutes are developed and put into service, and what types of PFAS are regulated, a typical linen/uniform laundry could have little choice but to invest in the high-six-figure range or more for pre-treatment equipment.

The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) passed last year allocated $10 billion to EPA for removing  PFAS and other emerging contaminants. Congress can establish financial incentives, such as tax credits or grants, to help businesses offset the costs associated with implementing wastewater filtration of PFAS. On Hill Day, TRSA asked policymakers to contact EPA to request that they allocate BIL funds to make such incentives available to our industry.

A first-time Legislative Conference attendee said he found the program's education and outreach efforts to lawmakers extremely valuable. Ryan Swartz, VP of operations for Pure Star, Las Vegas, found the overall event to be very insightful . “I felt it was beneficial to have more operator members, vendors and suppliers at Hill Day to support the industry because there is new legislation and new parameters that our business will be exposed to,” Swartz said. He added that he felt his first Hill Day experience was very interesting. He enjoyed advocating for the industry and the opportunities it provided to be heard.

TRSA remains committed to advancing the reusable PPE agenda, fostering collaboration, and ensuring the safety and sustainability of our industry. For further information, please visit TRSA’s website.


Privacy Policy
We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.