» Planned merger will create mega laundry chemical supplier for healthcare and more

UNX Industries and Christeyns USA have announced they plan to merge as UNX-Christeyns, a new company delivering a broader range of chemicals, detergents, engineered equipment and cleaning solutions to the commercial and industrial textile care market.

The merger will combine Christeyns’ supply chain capabilities with UNX’s domestic manufacturing and distribution platform. UNX was founded in 1958 and earned a reputation for providing companies with superior, commercial grade cleaning products for their laundry, housekeeping and warewash needs. It has been a long-time healthcare supplier. Christeyns USA was part of a $300 million Belgian manufacturer of cleaning, hygiene and disinfection products for laundries, the food industry, the medical sector and more.

The goal for the new company is to be one of the top three chemical providers in the textile care sector, leaders said.

» Laundry fires prove need for precautions

A dryer at a Pennsylvania long-term care facility went up in flames recently, leaving one worker injured and several residents relocated. Authorities credited a sprinkler system and quick response by staff with controlling the incident and providing a mostly favorable outcome. In June, a similar incident occurred in Los Angeles.

“Fires in healthcare facilities, and particularly those that have historically occurred in nursing homes, have been catastrophic and resulted in multiple fatalities prior to federal regulations requiring the presence of fire sprinkler systems,” Stan Szpytek, president of the national consulting firm Fire and Life Safety Inc. told McKnight’s. “While these fire protection systems undoubtedly save lives, there is still more that providers can do to prevent fires from occurring, especially in laundry rooms.”

Szpytek pointed out that regular operational deficiencies in laundry routines can create unsafe conditions that ultimately lead combustible materials to ignite. Long-term care laundry room fires are often caused by improper use of commercial clothes dryers, he added. 

“The other common denominator is lack of maintenance,” said Szpytek, a life safety/disaster planning consultant for several state associations.