Hemp is among the oldest industries on the planet, going back more than 10,000 years to the beginnings of pottery. The Columbia History of the World states that the oldest relic of human industry is a bit of hemp fabric dating back to approximately 8,000 BC. The bark of the hemp stalk contains bast fibers, which are among the Earth’s longest natural soft fibers and are also rich in cellulose. The cellulose and hemi-cellulose in its inner woody core are called hurds. Hemp stalk is not psychoactive. Hemp fiber is longer, stronger, more absorbent and more insulative than cotton fiber. CHINA is the largest exporter of hemp textiles. The fabrics are of excellent quality. Medium density fiber board is also now available. The Chinese word for hemp is “ma.”
FACT: Rampant staph infections continue to cost lives unnecessarily. One powerful weapon to fight this scourge is being successfully deployed by China’s military: industrial hemp. Staph is spread by direct contact and by touching items that are contaminated such as towels, sheets, privacy curtains, and clothing. As noted by the San Francisco Chronicle stating:
“It is estimated that each year 2 million Americans become infected during hospital stays, and at least 90,000 of them die. MRSA (an antibiotic resistant strain of staph) is a leading cause of hospital-borne infections.” One of the most important recent discoveries is hemp’s ability to kill surface bacteria, while cotton, polyester, and polyethylene allow it to remain on their surface for up to months at a time.
Unknown to many, hemp fabrics exist in today’s market that can replace each of these transmission prone hospital items. Hemp fabric was testing supported the results testing against two bacteria strains, Staphylococcus Aureus (staph) and Klebsiella Pneumoniae (pneumonia). The fabric tested was a hemp blend, 60% hemp and 40% rayon. The staph test sample was already 98.5% bacteria free during the first measurement of the testing, while the pneumonia fabric sample was 65.1% bacteria free. These results, even prior to the tests completion, clearly display the fabrics unique capability at killing bacteria and reducing their spread. This is especially imperative for healthcare facilities.
FACT: Thirty one states have introduced pro-hemp legislation and 19 have passed pro-hemp legislation. The potential for military and national adoption of hemp appears to be moving forward expeditiously considering a decade’s long ban. As science continues to “rediscover” the benefits of hemp for society, the solution is emerging from the fog of prohibition. Hemp is no longer an ancient fiber and it is well on its way to be the future of fabric.
- Survival of Enterococci and Staphylococci on Hospital Fabrics and Plastic – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC86187/
- San Francisco Chronicle, “HEALTH / High staph infection rates in hospitals stun public health officials / New study reports lethal drug-resistant bacteria widespread” – http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/HEALTH-High-staph-infection-rates-in-hospitals-2554708.php