Cleaning & Restoration Breaking News

New cotton fabric may absorb toxins

April 5, 2005
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP)- Cotton, the fabric of your life, could soon have the potential to save it. Scientists at Texas Tech University's Institute of Environmental and Human Health on Monday unveiled a new composite cotton fabric they say will protect against biological and chemical agents.

The fabric, developed with the U.S. Department of Defense in mind, also brings a fresh market to cotton farmers in West Texas, the nation's largest producing region. "We are the first to bring cotton into the national defense arena," said Seshadri Ramkumar, the researcher at the institute who developed the fabric. "This is a big thing."

The nonwoven fabric is "exactly" the type the defense department placed in its decontamination and science technology strategy, he said. A thin piece of carbon is encased on either side by the nonwoven cotton.

The fabric can be used as a wipe to remove dangerous contaminants from a variety of surfaces, including human skin and intricate equipment on fighter planes. The fabric is lightweight, soft, flexible and able to be draped over unusually shaped objects.

The material neutralizes and absorbs toxic chemicals used in chemical warfare and pesticides. Another use could be the inner lining of a protective suit.

"This is a win-win day for Texas Tech," said U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock, who attended a news conference announcing the technology and its licensing to a Texas company. "It's a win-win day for the American people." Now, the military uses a cloth made from carbon, which leaves skin and other surfaces dirty.

The fabric passed tests for bacteria, yeast, fungus and mold but has not been tested for anthrax and other potentially deadly biological agents. But enzymes specifically targeting a particular agent can be applied. "Once it has been tested for nerve agents, sure it can" save lives, Ramkumar said.

Cotton watchers in West Texas said the fabric presents an exciting avenue for area producers. "It's an opportunity to add value to our locally grown fiber and add a new income source to our area economy," said Roger Haldenby, a spokesman for the Plains Cotton Growers, which serves a 41-county region.

In recent days, the university licensed a Waco-based company, Hobbs Bonded Fibers, to market the fabric. Carey Hobbs, the company's chief executive officer, said negotiations with government officials could begin within a couple of months.

"This is something that could be very meaningful and contribute to the country's mission right now," Hobbs said. "This is an opportunity you look for your whole business life."

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to i Cleaning Specialist Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

The 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition

A look in photos at the 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition, which was held from April 24-26 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center and Spa in Frisco, Texas.

1/27/15 2:00 pm EST

Grow Your Business and Improve Operations with New Payment Technology

Attend this free webinar to learn how new developments in payment technology can help you close more jobs, increase upselling opportunities and improve operations.

Podcasts

The winter slow season is a great time to pursue commercial cleaning accounts and stay busy. John "the Hitman" Braun solicited questions from thousands of cleaners across the country regarding their questions on commercial cleaning accounts and answers them in this episode of the show.
More Podcasts

ICS Cleaning Specialist Magazine

CoverImage

2014 Nov/Dec

The Nov/Dec ICS features content on how to get better meter readings, a roundtable on truckmount development, neighborhood marketing and more. Also included is the annual Buyer’s Guide and Directory.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Janitorial Work

In addition to residential and commercial carpet cleaning, do you do any janitorial work on the side?
View Results Poll Archive

THE ICS STORE

FinalCover.gif
The Carpet Cleaner's Book of Unlimited Success! (ebook)

Don’t worry about the recession or about your competition.  Now you can be the owner of over 400 ways for carpet cleaning professionals to make more money and get more jobs!

More Products

ICS DIRECTORY AND BUYING GUIDE

Director_Buyer.jpgThe premier resource and reference guide for the cleaning and restoration industries.

Click here to view

STAY CONNECTED

facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png youtube_40px.pngcrc logo

TRUCKMOUNT EQUIPMENT AND ACCESSORIES GUIDE

Truckmount.jpgEquipment listings and specifications from the leading industry manufacturers.

Click here to view