NSF International Announces New Protocol for Clothes Washers to Help Reduce Allergens

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 Education News
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Whirlpool Corporation Becomes First Manufacturer to Meet Allergen Reduction and Sanitization Performance Testing Requirements

ANN ARBOR, Mich. and BENTON HARBOR, Mich., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Continuing its mission to protect and improve public health, NSF International today announced the development of a new protocol that certifies allergen reduction performance of residential and commercial, family-sized clothes washers. Whirlpool Corporation is the first company to receive certification with this new protocol for clothes washers.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070816/DCTH039LOGO)

An estimated 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma, according to a 2007 American Lung Study. A similar study of U.S. homes also found that approximately one-quarter had dust mite allergen levels present in a bed at a level high enough to trigger asthma symptoms.* The NSF International allergen reduction protocol (P351) directly addresses these concerns.

To receive certification to NSF Protocol P351: Allergen Reduction Performance of Residential and Commercial, Family-Sized Clothes Washers, the following requirements must be met:

"We are proud that Maytag Performance Series (MHWE400W, MHWE450W, MHWE550W and MHWE950W) and Whirlpool(R) Duet washers (WFW9750W and WFW9250W) have received NSF Certification, becoming the first clothes washers to achieve this major milestone for the residential and commercial clothes washer industry," said Dick Conrad, Director of Product Management, Whirlpool Corporation. "Whirlpool Corporation partners with leading experts, such as NSF International, to develop innovations that can help consumers in their everyday lives. Certifying to this new protocol is consistent with our dedication to our customers."

In 2007, Whirlpool Corporation became the first manufacturer to meet NSF Protocol P172 - Sanitization Performance of Residential and Commercial, Family Sized Clothes Washers, the first protocol to test clothes washers with sanitizing cycles. Clothes washers certified to this protocol effectively sanitize laundry by demonstrating the removal of at least 99.9 percent of test organisms when the washer's sanitization cycle is selected and preventing the carryover of test organisms between loads of laundry.

"It has been two years since Whirlpool Corporation became the first company certified to NSF International's Clothes Washer Sanitization Protocol, and now we are excited to announce that once again Whirlpool Corporation is the first company certified to the new protocol for allergen reduction," said Bob Ferguson, Vice President, NSF Engineering and Research Services group, which provides research and development, protocol development, environmental verification and other certifications services.

NSF International tests the washing machine cycle by washing clothes contaminated with allergens with a typical batch of laundry. After the wash cycle is complete, the test cloths are analyzed to detect the remaining allergen concentration. Testing is performed at NSF's microbiology laboratories in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

NSF Protocol P351: Allergen Reduction Performance of Residential and Commercial, Family-Sized Clothes Washers was developed by a technical panel that included the world's preeminent experts in airborne allergy testing and evaluation, public health and academia. These experts included representatives from Wright State University, Ohio State University, and Michigan Technological University; Indoor Biotechnologies, Inc. the Ecology Works; and Whirlpool Corporation.

For more information about the new protocol, please click here.

To view this entire news release with photos, please visit www.nsf.org/info/press/index.asp?p_id=18130.

*2003 Arbes SJ, et al. study, "House dust mite allergen in U.S. beds"

-- The removal of at least 95 percent of house dust mite allergens and pet dander. -- The wash water must achieve 55 degrees Celsius (131 degrees Fahrenheit), which is the temperature required to kill dust mites. -- The washer must be easily cleanable, corrosion resistant and designed to avoid accumulation of dirt and debris.

SOURCE NSF International

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