Q. What role do textiles play in the spread of infection?

A. Healthcare textiles in the patient environment such as bed linen, gowns, and curtains can become contaminated and transmit harmful bacteria to patients. These textiles can become contaminated with pathogens in three ways; (1) improper reprocessing of textiles, (2) improper storage and handling during transportation and (3) microbial shedding from patients within the healthcare facility. It has been reported that up to 60% of hospital staff uniforms are colonized and 55% of samples from clean bed linen were contaminated before contact with the patients . Once textiles become contaminated, staphylococci and enterococci can survive for extended periods of time on materials allowing them to transmit the bacteria onto patients or other surfaces in the hospitals. Hospital linens that have been contaminated with mold have been reported to be the cause of several outbreaks resulting in death. Click for source..

Q. What is SilvaClean® and how does it work?

A. The SilvaClean® System is an EPA-approved, patented water-based ionic silver laundry additive to reduce post-laundry contamination. SilvaClean will kill 99.9% of S. aureus after 6 hours of contact and 99.9% of K. pneumoniae after 3 hours of contact with SilvaClean-treated fabric (cotton, cotton/polyester blend and microfiber materials).

As part of a diligent infection control program, experts recommend that a hospital should seek to reduce or eliminate exposure to pathogens to the greatest extent practical. One practical,
inexpensive way to aid in this effort is to use SilvaClean® laundry additive.

SilvaClean® technology uses a proprietary hardware module to deliver an ionic silver treatment into each laundry cycle, all managed by intelligent 24/7 cloud-based monitoring software. Sports organizations can see immediate benefits from SilvaClean’s turnkey approach and do not have to modify their current inventory management or laundry process to adopt it.

Q. What is an antimicrobial?

A. An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganisms (eg. bacteria, fungi, or virus) or prevents them from growing. There are two types: (1) Bactericides/Fungicide and (2) Bacteristats/Fungistat. Bactericides/Fungicides kill microorganisms that exist on a surface while bacteristats/fungistats only prevent bacteria from multiplying.

Q. What type of antimicrobial is SilvaClean®?

A. SilvaClean is a residual antimicrobial that preserves and protects fabrics. Like a bactericide/fungicide, it kills 99.9% of Staphylococcus aureus in 6 hours and 99.9% of Klebsiella pneumoniae in 3 hours.

Q. What's the difference between SilvaClean® and other Bactericides/Fungicide?

A. Unlike chlorine, quaternary ammonium compounds (quats.) and peroxide additives, the SilvaClean, when treated onto fabrics, is effective when the fabrics are used. SilvaClean remaining in linens will reduce levels of Staphylococcus aureus by 99.9 % after 6 hours of contact and Klebsiella pneumoniae by 99.9% after 3 hours of contact to aid hospitals in their infection control efforts.

Q. Why are hospitals adopting SilvaClean®?

A. As part of a diligent infection control program, experts recommend that a hospital should
seek to reduce or eliminate exposure to pathogens to the greatest extent practical. One practical, inexpensive way to aid in this effort is to use SilvaClean® laundry additive. It provides residual post-laundry activity against S. aureus after 6 hours of contact and K. pneumoniae after 3 hours of contact when textiles such as bed linens and patient gowns are laundered through the SilvaClean program and properly stored. SilvaClean may be a helpful addition to an Infection Control program. SilvaClean is not a substitute for any existing component of a diligent Infection Control program. Practitioners should continue to implement fully all infection control measures.

Q. Is SilvaClean® made from Nano silver?

A. SilvaClean is made up of silver ions, which should not be confused with nano-silver. Silver ions are the bioactive form that gives silver it’s antimicrobial properties. This is the same form that occurs naturally in foods like wheat, mushrooms and sea vegetables. One notable difference between ionic silver and nano-silver is that ionic silver is easily measured and its delivery via SilvaClean is tightly controlled. For nano-silver to show antimicrobial properties, it has to shed silver ions. The rate of this release is hard to predict because it varies with the environmental variables (moisture, pressure, heat, etc.). As such, the EPA has begun to revoke products with nano-silver as they are unpredictable and pose potential environmental risks.

Q. How are silver ions in SilvaClean® different from particulate and nano silver?

A. A silver ion is a silver atom minus an electron. The missing electron is what gives the silver ion its positive charge. An ion is already in its active state which provides several benefits over particulate and nano silver. For example, ions are more aggressive towards bacteria, mildew and mold than particulate or nano silver. They work against bacteria, mildew and mold in low moisture environments and work faster in high moisture environments.

Q. How long does SilvaClean® last?

A. SilvaClean is laundry additive to reduce post-laundry contamination with residual antimicrobial activity. SilvaClean is stable in fabric and has shown efficacy in real-time stability studies over 4 years. When the fabric is re-laundered, it gets replenished with a fresh treatment of SilvaClean so you never have to worry about the textile remaining persistent. SilvaClean is not a substitute for any existing component of a diligent Infection Control program, standard textile change-out protocols should be followed. If a gross contamination event occurs by a patient on a SilvaClean treated textile (e.g., bedding, gown or towel) resulting in total saturation of the textile and/or a visible contiguous soiling (film) of bodily fluid such as blood or feces on the textile, we encourage the healthcare provider to follow their normal linen change-out protocols.

Q. Does SilvaClean® change the way the linen looks or feels? I’m happy with my current linen.

A. SilvaClean antimicrobial treatment does not change the way fabric looks, nor does it change the way it feels, and will improve the cleanliness of the fabric and reduce any odor attributed to microorganisms. In fact, it is impossible to tell that SilvaClean is present with the naked eye so Applied Silver has created a test kit, SilvaSure® that tests the treated textiles for the presence of SilvaClean.

Q. Is there a risk of allergic reactions to SilvaClean®?

A. SilvaClean utilizes pure silver and there are no known allergic reactions to silver in this form. Perceived silver allergies such as those to sterling silver jewelry are actually reactions to other elements in the silver based alloy, most commonly nickel.

Q. What are the potential environmental impacts of SilvaClean treatment?

A. The SilvaClean product is registered for use as a laundry additive by the Federal EPA and the California Department of Pesticide Registration for industrial use. SilvaClean has been intensively tested for concentration of silver in effluents as part of that approval process. Any residual silver ions in the waste water are at levels significantly below the EPA’s and the city Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW) requirements.

Q. How is SilvaClean product registered and/or approved for use by the government?

A. SilvaClean is an antimicrobial laundry additive that reduces post-laundry contamination. SilvaClean product registration falls under the regulatory authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), specifically, the Antimicrobials Division (7510P) under the Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP). EPA regulates pesticides under the statutory authority of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), which defines an Antimicrobial pesticide as that which is intended to disinfect, sanitize, reduce, or mitigate growth of development of microorganisms; or protect inanimate objects from contamination caused by microorganisms. href= https://www.epa.gov/pesticides/antimicrobial-pesticides> Read more at the EPA website here

Q. Is SilvaClean® compatible with all laundry formulas?

A. Yes. SilvaClean is compatible with all brands of detergent, bleach, sours, softeners, breaks, etc. SilvaClean treatment does not change the way the fabric looks or feels. Silver ions are much smaller than the eye can see and cannot be seen on textiles and do not result in any discoloration of the treated textile. SilvaClean antimicrobial technology is designed for industrial water (i.e. softened water) but works efficiently with varying water profiles.

Q. Is SilvaClean® safe to use in pediatric wards?

A. Yes, SilvaClean is approved by the EPA to be used for industrial use including use in all hospitals which include neonatal, pediatric, PICUs, etc.

Q. Has SilvaClean® been tested to ensure it can be used with infants?

A. Yes. SilvaClean® is safe to use with infants. The exposure levels have been analyzed and approved by EPA to be safe for use with infants.

Q. How can I justify the price of SilvaClean® to my organization?

A. The cost of treating your textiles with SilvaClean is about 50% less than using disposables. SilvaClean antimicrobial textile treatment is implemented in the laundering process on current linen inventory. No new textiles need to be purchased. SilvaClean does not require any new protocols or procedural changes unlike other technologies (e.g. copper hard surfaces, ultraviolet light machines, etc.). When compared to other infection prevention techonolgies as relative cost per patient day, SilvaClean is the cheapest option. For example, SilvaClean is more affordable than threaded/embedded antimicrobial textiles, copper hard surfaces, disposable textiles, UV light robots, hydrogen peroxide vapor machines and even bleach!

Q. How does SilvaClean® compare to other antimicrobial textiles?

A. SilvaClean works. Other antimicrobial textiles on the market containing silver require moisture for their products to be activated and to work. SilvaClean is already in an active state to exhibit antimicrobial characteristics. In addition, unlike other antimicrobial textiles, the SilvaClean antimicrobial treatment never loses its ability kill 99.9% of Staphylococcus aureus in 6 hours and 99.9% of Klebsiella pneumoniae in 3 hours. While competing products lose performance after laundering, SilvaClean® is reapplied during each laundering to ensure that performance is maintained.

Q. What scientific data exists about textile contamination?

A. Click here to see our educational packet: Education Packet

Q. Do you have an outcomes study?

A. Yes. A study was carried out in three community hospitals to measure the effectiveness of SilvaClean® on patient textiles. SilvaClean exhibited a reduction of microbial bioburden on patient textiles before and after use. In addition, it showed a reduction of MRSA and S. Aureus on patient gowns before and after use. Click here to find the study: “Reduction in bacterial contamination of hospital textiles by a novel
silver-based laundry treatment”

Q. Is SilvaClean registered with the EPA for public health uses?

A. Yes. Under the product registration “Laundry additive to reduce post-laundry contamination”, the EPA has approved SilvaClean for public health uses. SilvaClean can be recommended as a useful addition to aid Infection Control at hospitals and sports programs. It kills 99.9% of Staphylococcus aureus after 6 hours of contact and Klebsiella pneumoniae after 3 hours of contact. See approved EPA label on the EPA’s Website