people wearing hospital scrubs that I have been processing have been
complaining about skin irritations. I have modified my laundry formula to
reduce the alkali and bleach used, but they are still breaking out in rashes.
What is causing them to break out?
materials may contain residual or free formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a finish
applied to cellulose fabrics to render permanent press or minimum care
performance characteristics. Formaldehyde has always been known as an unpleasant
and irritating chemical, which can cause not only dermatitis, but also
breathing discomfort and irritation of nasal tissues.
Formaldehyde can cause reactions
during wear, especially in the presence of body heat and perspiration. The
level of skin irritation depends on the person’s sensitivity and also on the
level of free formaldehyde. Some people react to even low levels of free
formaldehyde; others do not.
For more information DLI Silver, Gold and Premier members
may see these and many more bulletins on DLI's Encyclopedia of
Drycleaning Online. Upgrade or join today for access:
- OSHA No. 4: Bloodborne Pathogens
- Shirt & Laundry Procedures No. 22: Medical Stains