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02.05.2020

NCTO: Buy American Policy for Personal Protective Equipment

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement, urging the government to institute Buy American policy changes to help bolster U.S. manufacturers producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If the government is sincere about reconstituting a U.S. production chain for medical personal protective equipment (PPE) to resolve the drastic shortages we are experiencing during the current pandemic, it is going to have to make key policy changes to help incentivize domestic production. A strong Buy American mandate for these vital healthcare materials needs to be instituted for all federal agencies, coupled with other reasonable production incentives, to help ensure a strong U.S.  manufacturing base for these essential products.

National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement, urging the government to institute Buy American policy changes to help bolster U.S. manufacturers producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If the government is sincere about reconstituting a U.S. production chain for medical personal protective equipment (PPE) to resolve the drastic shortages we are experiencing during the current pandemic, it is going to have to make key policy changes to help incentivize domestic production. A strong Buy American mandate for these vital healthcare materials needs to be instituted for all federal agencies, coupled with other reasonable production incentives, to help ensure a strong U.S.  manufacturing base for these essential products.

Our government already has an existing example of such a mandate that serves as an excellent model. The U.S. Department of Defense operates under a fiber-to-finished product Buy American rule for military textiles. This rule ensures that the vital textile materials our U.S. warfighters depend upon, come from a secure domestic production chain that cannot be severed during a military emergency by offshore entities.

There is a bipartisan call for action as members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have begun to acknowledge the need for these types of reasonable and essential policy changes.

Anything short of fully instituting domestic purchase requirements through Executive Order and other legislative initiatives will ensure that PPE production through U.S. supply chains that have been created overnight don’t evaporate as soon as this crisis is over.  

In the midst of the crisis, our failure to confront this challenge will allow for a repeat of the sins of the past that allowed sourcing agents to offshore the entire production of medical PPE in search of lucrative profits. While chasing the lowest cost import may have seemed cost effective at the time, these past few months have demonstrated that we paid a deadly price through this approach by jeopardizing the very lives of frontline medical personnel that are fighting the pandemic.   

This is a national security issue. It’s also a vital healthcare issue and it is decision time for U.S. policymakers. If our country is to be prepared for future deadly pandemics such as the one it is now facing, reasonable policy changes need to be implemented to ensure that we strengthen our domestic supply chain to address America’s security, safety and healthcare requirements.”


NCTO is a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers. 

Source:

NCTO

20.04.2020

NCTO Statement on Administration’s 90-Day Tariff Deferral

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement from NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas today, voicing concern over the administration’s executive order instituting a non-reciprocal 90-day deferral on certain tariffs.
The temporary postponement of duties does not apply to products with antidumping or countervailing duties or those products subject to penalty duties under Section 232, 201 and 301.

The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), representing the full spectrum of U.S. textiles from fiber through finished products, issued a statement from NCTO President and CEO Kim Glas today, voicing concern over the administration’s executive order instituting a non-reciprocal 90-day deferral on certain tariffs.
The temporary postponement of duties does not apply to products with antidumping or countervailing duties or those products subject to penalty duties under Section 232, 201 and 301.

“At a time when domestic textile producers and its workforce have mobilized to transform their production lines to manufacture the personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies for frontline healthcare and medical workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, the administration’s decision to defer duties for 90 days on the vast majority of products imported into the United States is counterproductive.
This move contradicts the administration’s top stated priority of rebuilding American manufacturing and buying American and could have severe negative implications for the entire U.S. textile industry, whose companies and workforce already are facing enormous economic hardship.
We support the need to temporarily eliminate barriers to the entry of emergency medical supplies and certain PPE inputs tied directly to the COVID-19 response. But make no mistake, the key drivers behind efforts to defer tariffs have nothing to do with facilitating access to PPE products or stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Our industry is being asked to do extraordinary things.  We are heeding that call, but we need help to ensure the supply chains we are creating overnight don’t evaporate tomorrow.  We need strong procurement policies and additional funding for our industries to ramp up and retool – not further measures that incentivize offshore production. We need to maximize the U.S. domestic production chain right now to every extent possible in helping fight COVID-19 and make the products American frontline workers desperately need.  

We need to provide immediate and substantial relief to our manufacturing sector and their workforce who are suffering enormously right now. It’s critical that we have a long-term U.S. government plan to ensure that we aren’t relying on offshore producers to make medically necessary, live-saving PPE.  We shouldn’t be providing handouts to reward the very companies that helped offshore these industries so many years ago.

Tariffs are one of the few mechanisms in place to help partially address the challenges U.S. manufacturers face in competing with imports from countries with exceptionally low wages, poor working conditions, and minimal environmental and safety standards.”, states the NCTO.

 

Source:

NCTO

Logo Fairfield
Fairfield produces surgical gowns
08.04.2020

Fairfield Chair Pivots from Seating Production to Surgical Gowns

Fairfield Chair Co. has retooled its production of chairs and sofas to high-in-demand surgical gowns in an effort to help rush supplies to health care companies on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the spread of the coronavirus impacted Fairfield and the entire U.S. manufacturing sector, Fairfield executives jumped into action.

The seating manufacturer, which essentially took a crash course on apparel patternmaking and industry specs, has switched its production to surgical gowns overnight. In just over a week, Fairfield produced its first samples of the surgical gown and immediately received approval on the prototype from Blue Ridge Healthcare in North Carolina, which has placed an initial order for 1,200 surgical gowns.
Cotswold Industries worked closely with Fairfield to help the company pivot to gown and mask manufacturing and provide the materials needed for the finished products.

Fairfield Chair Co. has retooled its production of chairs and sofas to high-in-demand surgical gowns in an effort to help rush supplies to health care companies on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the spread of the coronavirus impacted Fairfield and the entire U.S. manufacturing sector, Fairfield executives jumped into action.

The seating manufacturer, which essentially took a crash course on apparel patternmaking and industry specs, has switched its production to surgical gowns overnight. In just over a week, Fairfield produced its first samples of the surgical gown and immediately received approval on the prototype from Blue Ridge Healthcare in North Carolina, which has placed an initial order for 1,200 surgical gowns.
Cotswold Industries worked closely with Fairfield to help the company pivot to gown and mask manufacturing and provide the materials needed for the finished products.

Fairfield is also tapping into the experience it gained from producing seating for senior living facilities, which require certain materials with antimicrobial finishes.
“We are very accustomed to working with antimicrobial fabrics however, we have never worked with wovens that are developed to meet specifications like this material has to,” states McClurd, vice President of imports of Fairfield.

More information:
corona virus respiratory masks
Source:

NCTO

NCTO Logo (c) NCTO
NCTO Logo
20.03.2020

U.S. Textile and Nonwoven Associations Urge Government to Deem Manufacturing

Textile and nonwoven associations issued a joint statement today urging federal, state and local governments to deem textile and nonwoven manufacturing facilities as “essential” when drafting “Shelter in Place” orders in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Our associations recognize the serious challenges our elected officials, health administrators, and others are facing when issuing orders to protect communities across the country and we understand the necessity for leaders to enforce a ‘Shelter in Place” order or quarantine orders.

Our members make a broad range of inputs and finished products used in an array of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical nonwoven/textile supplies, including surgical gowns, face masks, antibacterial wipes, lab coats, blood pressure cuffs, cotton swabs and hazmat suits. These items are vital to the government’s effort to ramp up emergency production of these critical supplies.

Textile and nonwoven associations issued a joint statement today urging federal, state and local governments to deem textile and nonwoven manufacturing facilities as “essential” when drafting “Shelter in Place” orders in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Our associations recognize the serious challenges our elected officials, health administrators, and others are facing when issuing orders to protect communities across the country and we understand the necessity for leaders to enforce a ‘Shelter in Place” order or quarantine orders.

Our members make a broad range of inputs and finished products used in an array of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical nonwoven/textile supplies, including surgical gowns, face masks, antibacterial wipes, lab coats, blood pressure cuffs, cotton swabs and hazmat suits. These items are vital to the government’s effort to ramp up emergency production of these critical supplies.

If workers who produce these goods are not granted an “essential” exemption from “Shelter in Place” and other quarantine orders to go to their manufacturing and distribution facilities, it will cause major disruptions in the availability of these goods. This will create significant hardship to healthcare providers and consumers across the country who depend on steady and stable supplies of these critical items.

We are asking the administration and state and local authorities to provide greater certainty and clarity for our companies and employees and ask for a clear exclusion of our manufacturing operations from “Shelter in Place” orders as the textile and nonwoven products that we make in the U.S. play an essential role in mitigating the shortages of critical supplies. Such a designation will help us avoid disruptions of vital goods and services during this challenging time.

Source:

NCTO

IFAI 

INDA

NCTO Logo
NCTO sees the manifacturing facilities as "essential"
19.03.2020

U.S. Textile and Nonwoven Associations Urge Government to Deem Manufacturing Facilities “Essential”

The U.S. textile and nonwoven associations NCTO, IFAL and INDA issued a joint statement today urging federal, state and local governments to deem textile and nonwoven manufacturing facilities as “essential” when drafting “Shelter in Place” orders in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The associations recognize the serious challenges of the elected officials, health administrators and others are facing when issuing orders to protect communities across the country and show understanding for the necessity to enforce quarantine orders.

The U.S. textile and nonwoven associations NCTO, IFAL and INDA issued a joint statement today urging federal, state and local governments to deem textile and nonwoven manufacturing facilities as “essential” when drafting “Shelter in Place” orders in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The associations recognize the serious challenges of the elected officials, health administrators and others are facing when issuing orders to protect communities across the country and show understanding for the necessity to enforce quarantine orders.

The members of these associations are part of the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical nonwoven/textile supplies, including surgical gowns, face masks, antibacterial wipes, lab coats, blood pressure cuffs, cotton swabs and hazmat suits. These items are vital to the government’s effort to ramp up emergency production of these critical supplies.
If workers who produce these goods are not granted an “essential” exemption from “Shelter in Place” and other quarantine orders to go to their manufacturing and distribution facilities, it will cause major disruptions in the availability of these goods, states the association. This will create hardship to healthcare providers and consumers across the country who depend on steady and stable supplies of these critical items, says the NCTO.

More information:
Coronavirus NCTO face masks USA
Source:

National Council of Textile Organizations

(c) TRSA
03.12.2018

All Twenty-three Angela Laundries Now Certified Hygienically Clean for Healthcare

Emphasis on Process, Third-party Validation and Outcome-based Testing

Angelica, one of the nation’s largest healthcare linen providers, now has 23 laundries that have earned the Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification. This is reflective of  their commitment to Best Management Practices (BMPs) in laundering as verified by on-site inspection and their capability to produce hygienically clean textiles as quantified by ongoing microbial testing. Angelica’s locations are throughout the United States, and the laundries now carrying the certification are located in Phoenix, AZ; Colton, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Pittsburg, Pomona, and Sacramento, CA; Holly Hill and Safety Harbor, FL; Rockmart, GA; Chicago, IL; Somerville and Worcester, MA; Durham, NC; Henderson, NV; Batavia, NY; Lorain, OH; Pawtucket, RI; Columbia, SC; Ooltewah, TN; and Dallas and Houston, TX.

Emphasis on Process, Third-party Validation and Outcome-based Testing

Angelica, one of the nation’s largest healthcare linen providers, now has 23 laundries that have earned the Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification. This is reflective of  their commitment to Best Management Practices (BMPs) in laundering as verified by on-site inspection and their capability to produce hygienically clean textiles as quantified by ongoing microbial testing. Angelica’s locations are throughout the United States, and the laundries now carrying the certification are located in Phoenix, AZ; Colton, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Pittsburg, Pomona, and Sacramento, CA; Holly Hill and Safety Harbor, FL; Rockmart, GA; Chicago, IL; Somerville and Worcester, MA; Durham, NC; Henderson, NV; Batavia, NY; Lorain, OH; Pawtucket, RI; Columbia, SC; Ooltewah, TN; and Dallas and Houston, TX.

The Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification confirms the organization’s continuing dedication to infection prevention, compliance with recognized industry standards and processing healthcare textiles using BMPs as described in its quality assurance documentation, a focal point for Hygienically Clean inspectors’ evaluation. The independent, third-party inspection must also confirm essential evidence that

  • Employees are properly trained and protected
  • Managers understand regulatory requirements
  • OSHA-compliant
  • Physical plant operates effectively

To achieve certification initially, laundries pass three rounds of outcome-based microbial testing, indicating that their processes are producing Hygienically Clean Healthcare textiles and diminished presence of yeast, mold and harmful bacteria. They also must pass a facility inspection. To maintain their certification, they must pass quarterly testing to ensure that as laundry conditions change, such as water quality, textile fabric composition and wash chemistry, laundered product quality is consistently maintained. Re-inspection occurs every two to three years.

This process eliminates subjectivity by focusing on outcomes and results that verify textiles cleaned in these facilities meet appropriate hygienically clean standards and BMPs for hospitals, surgery centers, medical offices, nursing homes and other medical facilities.
Hygienically Clean Healthcare certification acknowledges laundries’ effectiveness in protecting healthcare operations by verifying quality control procedures in linen, uniform and facility services operations related to the handling of textiles containing blood and other potentially infectious materials.

Certified laundries use processes, chemicals and BMPs acknowledged by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, American National Standards Institute and others. Introduced in 2012, Hygienically Clean Healthcare brought to North America the international cleanliness standards for healthcare linens and garments used worldwide by the Certification Association for Professional Textile Services and the European Committee for Standardization.

Objective experts in epidemiology, infection control, nursing and other healthcare professions work with Hygienically Clean launderers to ensure the certification continues to enforce the highest standards for producing clean healthcare textiles.

“Congratulations to Angelica on their certifications,” said Joseph Ricci, TRSA president and CEO. “This achievement proves their commitment to infection prevention and that their laundries take every step possible to prevent human illness.”

Source:

TRSA

(c) TRSA
24.10.2018

TRSA Responds to UK Study on C. difficile: Unnecessarily Alarming

TRSA said today that a study published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology painted an unnecessarily alarming picture regarding the risk of C. difficile contamination from hospital linens and potential infectious outbreaks.
The study, titled From ward to washer: The survival of Clostridium difficile spores on hospital bed sheets through a commercial UK NHS healthcare laundry process concludes that “processing infected linen in commercial washer/extractor cycles could disseminate low levels of C. difficile spores and may be contributing to sporadic outbreaks of C. difficile infection (CDI).”

TRSA said today that a study published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology painted an unnecessarily alarming picture regarding the risk of C. difficile contamination from hospital linens and potential infectious outbreaks.
The study, titled From ward to washer: The survival of Clostridium difficile spores on hospital bed sheets through a commercial UK NHS healthcare laundry process concludes that “processing infected linen in commercial washer/extractor cycles could disseminate low levels of C. difficile spores and may be contributing to sporadic outbreaks of C. difficile infection (CDI).”

“Therefore, even in the study’s assessment, the findings are conditional,” said TRSA President and CEO Joseph Ricci. Ricci said that additional facts mitigate them even more:
•    The conclusion is based on one wash formula’s inability to meet the British National Health Service (NHS) standard. This standard indicates that water temperature and the amount of time that linen is washed are the true indicators of wash quality.
•    Best-management practices dictate that the quality of the wash process is maximized by using a complete wash formula that includes temperature, chemistry and mechanical action, which are customized to address various soil levels and generate hygienically clean textiles. In addition, heat from drying, ironing and finishing these linens also contributes to the linens’ cleanliness. Perhaps the only valid conclusion that can be reached from this research is that the one wash formula tested in the study is inadequate to remove C. difficile.
•    Most outsourced, professionally laundered healthcare linens and uniforms are processed using a tunnel washer, not washer/extractors used in the research.
•    Most healthcare-related wash formulas are designed to account for time, temperature, chemistry and mechanical action that appropriately eliminate C. diff. For example, the FDA recently approved the use of a disinfectant specifically formulated to kill off C. difficile spores.
•    TRSA has been collecting microbiological testing data since 2014 on linen and uniform service laundries that have achieved and maintained the Hygienically Clean certification by eliminating bacteria on soiled linens to negligible levels; there have been no positive identifications of C. difficile.
•    difficile contamination linked to linens is extremely rare. The best way to protect your facility and patients is to partner with a Hygienically Clean certified laundry.

Source:

TRSA