One of the most concerning issues of hospitals is the risk of infection. Going to a place filled with germ-ridden bodies is the surest way to get sick. One company in Colorado has developed a fabric that actually kills bacteria, and could soon replace sheets and scrubs in hospitals across the world, making them cleaner and safer. It is made from plant-based textiles, primarily hemp.
The danger of healthcare
Across the United States, infections caught during hospital visits account for 1.7 million cases each year, and 99,000 deaths per year in the US alone. This results in an estimated $20 billion in healthcare costs annually.
A strain of staph, known as MRSA is the leading cause of these infections. Traditional fabrics can have living bacteria survive on them for months. Interestingly, studies have shown that several cannabinoids have potent antibacterial properties.
A textile with amazing properties
EnviroTextile of Colorado has created a fabric with a 60/40 blend of hemp and rayon, both plant based textiles, that early test results show maintains itself in being 98.5% free of staph bacteria and 65.1% free of pneumonia. According to the company:
These results, even prior to the tests completion, clearly display the fabrics unique capability at killing bacteria and reducing their spread.
In addition, EnviroTextile also offers hemp fabrics which test extremely high for infrared resistance, giving them very desirable traits for military applications.
Hemp is no longer an ancient fiber and it is well on its way to be the future of fabric. – EnviroTextile
A company changing healthcare
EnviroTextile has already begun changing the face, and feel, of healthcare around the country by partnering with Bears for Humanity. They provide antistatic, antibacterial teddy bears to children in sensitive and isolated hospital environments. The bears are uniquely suited to areas like CT scan rooms, where static can affect sensitive equipment.
With the antibacterial properties, they allow sick children a safe form of comfort. Company founder Barbara Fillippone says:
Hemp’s natural antibacterial qualities make this a natural fit.
She decided to partner with Bears for Humanity president Vijay Prathap in what she calls a perfect pairing.
Vijay came into my life at exactly the right moment. Just when scared children need warm and furry hugs to boost their spirits – and just when the U.S. healthcare market needs safer products – these little bears are going to change everything.
You too can make a difference
The soft and squeezable teddy bears are 100% certified organic natural fiber, assembled in Union City, California. For every bear sold, Bears for Humanity will also donate a bear to a needy child through their network of charity partners, including Toys for Tots, Intel, Save the Children, and OneSimpleWish.org.
If you want to help spread the love, and prevent the spread of infection, you can check out Bears for Humanity for more details.
If you are interested in adding EnviroTextile fabrics to your place of business, you can follow this link.
Taking the natural benefits further
Hemp material is becoming more popular in many industries. With its anti-bacterial properties, houses built with the material are not only more fire-resistant and energy efficient but healthier for their occupants as well. Everyday apparel made from hemp would be better for people’s health, especially in densely populated regions. Hotels would be applauded to making a change to a fabric better suited to repeat use by people sleeping in their sheets.
Do you use hemp fabrics in your home? Do they last longer, and feel softer? Share your experiences with us on social media or in the comments below.