NSF International has 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.
NSF says the allergen reduction protocol was designed to address two research findings: 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.
To receive certification to NSF Protocol P351: Allergen Reduction Performance of Residential and Commercial, Family-Sized Clothes Washers, the following requirements must be met:
• The removal of at least 95 percent of house dust mite allergens and pet dander.
• The wash water must achieve 55º C (131º F), 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.
Whirlpool's Duet washers WFW9250W and WFW9750W (pictured) and the Maytag Performance Series MHWE400W, MHWE450W, MHWE550W and MHWE950W are the first clothes washers to receive the NSF certification.
To ensure a clothes washer meets all requirements, 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, MI, U.S.
The protocol was developed by a technical panel that included 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.
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