CORONAVIRUS. Update Industrial Textile Services recommendations: Face masks policy

Following previous reports and protocols developed by CINET together with reputed Professional Textile Care experts, we would like to bring the recommendations below to your attention.

* ATTENTION: hygienic Corona clean in the laundry, too

Recently we have put a lot of emphasis on working methods to deliver hygienically clean, Corona Proof textiles. The working conditions were less discussed.
It is emphasized from many sides that cleaning in the company should also receive extra attention. Have all tables, handles, door handles, toilets, etc, thoroughly disinfected on a daily basis. Disinfect the workplace before work and, above all, keep a sufficient distance from colleagues (more than 1.5 meters), especially during breaks. Many studies show that these are the critical moments of transmission of the virus.

* New face masks policy: FFP1 also suitable for laundries

In the Netherlands, for instannce, The National Institute for Health and Environment (RIVM) has adapted its policy regarding the use of mouth masks on the basis of progressive insight. The virus’s route of infection appears to be mainly via drops and personal contact. Large drops from coughing and sneezing within a distance of 1.5 to 2 meters are the main route of infection. There is no evidence so far that the virus spreads aerogenically (via tiny floating droplets in the air).

Partly because of this, laundry employees can use both FFP1 and FFP2 mouth masks, as indicated in the processing protocol for Corona contaminated laundry.

The advice is:

  • The mask may be worn in one piece until the breathing resistance (more difficult to breathe) becomes too high (3 – 4 hours) or the mask becomes too wet.
  • Both FFP1 and FFP2 mouth masks can be used for transport or dirt sorting of Corona contaminated laundry.
  • The FFP1 and FFP2 mouth masks can be reused after sterilization. However, no tests have been performed that show 100% equivalent effect afterwards.

* Conflicting messages

Recently, many conflicting reports have appeared about the path of contamination and the length of time that Corona particles can transmit contaminations.
Only virus particles that are completely intact can enter cells and thus make people sick. The industry’s recommended protocols for Corona contaminated laundry are in the opinion of experts, certainly sufficient to ensure a safe and responsible working method for laundry workers.

As PTC’s global umbrella organization, CINET is creating an open-platform in which every one of you can share his/her company’s experience during the coronavirus crisis. Therefore, feel free to share your experience (with text and photos) that you can send at or using our social media accounts. We will publish them in the E-News section and weekly newsletter.