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K-C Study Reveals Shop Towel Hazards

August 28, 2007

A new report has been issued by Kimberly-Clark Professional, Roswell, GA.

A new report has been issued by Kimberly-Clark Professional, Roswell, GA. The study indicates that something as common as a rental shop towel can raise a health and safety issue for workers, according to independent study results detailed in the report. Available at, the study revealed that “clean” shop towel samples tested contained elevated levels of toxic heavy metals. According to the study, rental shop towels can retain measurable levels of heavy metals—such as lead, cadmium and antimony—even after washing.

The study also found that it is possible for the metals to travel from rental shop towels to the hands of workers and, ultimately, the mouth. Using just 2.5 towels a day, workers may ingest unacceptable amounts of toxic heavy metals, according to the study, which was conducted by the Gradient Corporation. The amount of lead that someone might accidentally ingest from the shop towels may exceed California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) Proposition 65 limits (based on 2.5 towels per day). The full study can also be downloaded at


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