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02/16/2011

NAD Recommends Applied Textiles, Nano-Tex Drop "EPA-Approved" and Other Claims

The self-regulatory body also takes issue about Nano-Tex's claims against the competition

 
Applied Textiles Nano-Tex NAD

NEW YORK– The National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus has recommended that Applied Textiles and Nano-Tex, Inc., discontinue a wide range of advertising claims made for three fabric-coating products – Nano-Tex, Nano-Tex with Durablock and Nano-Tex with BioAM.

NAD, the advertising industry’s self-regulatory forum, examined the claims made by Applied Textiles and Nano-Tex, Inc., following a challenge by Crypton, Inc., a competing textile manufacturer. A key issue in NAD’s review was print and Internet advertising claims that the treated fabric produced by the advertisers was “certified,” “compliant,” or “approved” by federal agencies that include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).

NAD also examined comparative and implied claims made by Applied Textiles, including claims that:

  • The challenger’s products are not “recyclable.”
  • The challenger’s product contains “harsh chemicals,” while Nano-Tex is “virtually chemical free.”
  • Nano-Tex + BioAM products can or will prevent or control diseases or offer health protection.
  • Textiles coated with Nano-Tex + BioAM will control or mitigate disease, infection or pathological conditions.

Applied Textiles manufactures fabric treated with Nano-Tex coatings, including Nano-Tex, which is soil and stain resistant; Nano-Tex with Durablock, which prevents liquid spills from reaching the cushion; and Nano-Tex + BioAM, a coating that contains an antimicrobial. Following its review of the evidence in the record, NAD recommended that the advertisers discontinue claims that convey the message that they are certified by OHSA or CSPC, or that their products meet environmental standards established by the Okeo-Tex Standard 100.

NAD further recommended that the advertisers discontinue their claim that Nano-Tex + BioAM is “EPA approved” or “EPA registered.” However, NAD noted, nothing in its decision prevents the advertiser from claiming that BioAM – an ingredient of Nano-Tex + BioAM – is the trade name for AEGIS Microbe Shield, an antimicrobial that is registered with the EPA. NAD also recommended that Applied Textiles discontinue claims that include the following:

  • The challenger’s products are not “recyclable.”
  • That Nano-Tex + Bio-AM has been used in leading hospitals.
  • That the challenger recommends “special detergents” and “no bleach solutions” to clean its fabrics
  • That Nano-Tex with DuraBlock meets ASTM F1670 Standard Test Method for Resistance of Materials Used in Protective Clothing to Penetration by Synthetic Blood.
  • That the challenger’s fabrics do not have an available durability score from Wyzenbeek durability testing.
  • That Nano-Tex or Nano-Tex with Durablock have passed California Technical Bulletin 133, a combustibility test designed for seating furniture used in public buildings.
  • That the challenger’s fabrics cost five times as much as Nano-Tex and three times the cost of Nano-Tex with Durablock.
  • That Nano-Tex with Durablock contains “00.1 mg/kg of volatile fluorocarbons” and that it contains 0.00 mg/kg of formaldehyde.
  • That Applied Textiles products meet environmental standards established by McDonough-Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC).

NAD further recommended that Applied Textiles remove from its website a “Partial Compendium” that repeatedly states that Nano-Tex + BioAM is effective against the 77 types of bacteria, fungi and algae listed. The Partial Compendium implies that Nano-Tex with BioAM can “kill” microorganisms in a laboratory setting because killing or controlling microorganisms is “relatively easy.”

Applied Textiles, in its advertiser’s statement, said that while the company “disagrees with many of the NAD’s recommendations, we absolutely support the self-regulatory process and greatly appreciate the NAD’s time and effort they put into their decision. Accordingly, we will take into consideration the NAD’s recommendations for all future advertisements and print documents.”

Nano-Tex, in its advertiser’s statement, said the company “agrees to comply with the NAD’s recommendations to modify its statements concerning OSHA and CSPC compliance and eliminate references to its product being Okeo-Tex 'compliant.' Nano-Tex will take the NAD’s recommendations into account in future advertising."

NAD's inquiry was conducted under NAD/CARU/NARB Procedures for the Voluntary Self-Regulation of National Advertising. Details of the initial inquiry, NAD's decision, and the advertiser's response will be included in the next NAD/CARU Case Report.

 

 
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