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New product labels for better consumer safety

Product labels convey certain quality properties to consumers, which they are not able to assess without additional information.

With this in mind, the Institute for Hygiene and Biotechnology (IHB) at the Hohenstein Institute has introduced two new labels to the market - "Tested quality: Skin friendly" and "Tested Quality: Hypoallergenic".

Hysalma Hygiene Sales + Marketing GmbH is the first company at the national level which has received the label "Tested Quality: Skin friendly" for one of its high-quality products. At the international level, US mattress manufacturer BedInABox, LLC is also able to designate one of its products with both of the new Hohenstein Institute quality labels - the labels "Tested Quality: Skin friendly" and "Tested Quality: Hypoallergenic".

Both IHB seals of approval are based on informative cell culture testing systems, for which the laboratory is accredited at the ZLG (Zentralstelle der Länder für Gesundheitsschutz bei Arzneimitteln und Medizinprodukten) for the purpose of assessing the safety of medical products.

All of the methods do not require animal testing. The label "Tested Quality: Skin friendly" excludes the possibility of damaging effects on skin cells. Harmful substances which may become detached from textile materials are analysed. The test is based on a method pursuant to standard DIN EN ISO 10993-5, which is also used by the laboratory to test the application of medical products on humans.

The label "Tested Quality: Hypoallergenic" now offers consumers the security of knowing that textiles do not release any allergy-causing substances. To this end, Hohenstein scientists use cells from the immune system, which are considered the skin's "sentry cells". Their task in the human skin is to gather and recognise intruding antigens from neighbouring cells of the epidermis, and to initiate the corresponding immune response. For this reason, the cells can be used to assess the presence of allergens in textiles.

The two new labels supplement the Hohenstein quality seal for testing the anti-microbial activity of textiles, which was introduced several years ago. In this vein, the Institute for Hygiene und Biotechnology now offers three certifications for manufacturers, which allows them to represent the results of the extensive laboratory testing done at IHB in a manner that is oriented towards end users.

Rose-Marie Riedl | idw
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