Hohenstein says that bacteria types that develop into spores are among the most common microbiological contaminations found in commercial laundries. These endospores, which can develop from bacteria species such as Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium tetani, are extremely resistant to heat and cold and to drying out.

This means that disinfectant wash processes neither kill the spores nor render them harmless and so disinfected linen can be re-contaminated during the rinse process.

The scientists evaluated combined disinfection measures using water disinfection systems. They found that all systems – membrane, UV/ozone and UV/ultrasound were highly efficient in continuous flow systems. When measured quantities of spore contaminations were added in such circumstances they were reliably and completely destroyed or removed.

However, they also found that additional safety measures were still required. These additional methods could include filter systems with back flushing and chemical disinfection systems such as chlorination. Water tanks should also be cleaned regularly.