Not everyone is convinced that launderable shop towels pose a risk to workers, and studies seem to bear this out.

The Textile Rental Services Association of America (TRSA) has expressed doubts over the Gradient study’s findings, noting that there’s no evidence that the materials in the towels have ever been transferred and ingested by an individual.

TRSA also reports the laundering process for reusable towels has been engineered to maximize cleanliness and adequately remove contaminants. And the results of a study by the international engineering firm ARCADIS indicates they may be correct. This study reports launderable shop towels pose no real hazard to the workers who use them.

The ARCADIS study measured trace metals in launderable shop towels then conducted leachability tests to estimate the amounts that could be freed from the towel, landing on a workers hands, skin or in their eyes or mouths.

ARCADIS research found “zero detectable risk” in regard to metal transfers from launderable shop towels to users. If transfer did occur, they found levels to be insignificant when compared to EPA exposure limits.

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Put Disposable Industrial Wipes To The Test