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Are Flocked Swabs Safe? Difference with Cotton Swabs

The sampling swab used by the sampler when doing the COVID-19 PCR test is not a traditional cotton swab but a plush nylon flocked swab.

Traditional swabs are cotton, but the swabs used for nucleic acid testing are made of polyester or nylon fibers. Do many people ask questions such as why not use cotton swabs for sampling? Are the nylon fibers that fall down the throat harmful to humans? Are flocked swabs sterilized?

Cotton Swabs vs. Flocked Swabs

Cotton swab:

cotton swab

Cotton swab head using medical skim cotton. Cotton swab stick is generally natural birch or bamboo swab, commonly used for wound cleaning, application of pharmaceuticals, etc.

Nylon flocked swabs:

flocked swab

The flocking swab is used to collect samples of viruses, bacteria, and other tools, generally composed of a swab tip and swab stick.

The flocked swab tip is generally made of polyester (polyester), polyamide (nylon), and other chemical synthetic fibers from the flocking process. The swab stick is generally medical-grade ABS plastic with a break point, often used for virus or bacteria sample sampling.

Why use Flocked Nylon Swabs?

  1. Flocked swabs are made by nylon fiber flocking technology, the front end is coated with short nylon fibers fixed vertically, like a small brush, and the adsorption efficiency is 20%~60% higher than other swabs.
  2. Compared with ordinary swabs, the nucleic acid sampling swab can greatly reduce the time spent collecting samples.
  3. There is no absorption hole inside the tip of the nylon flocked swab, which is conducive to faster and more efficient sample elution.
  4. Swabs are generally medical-grade ABS plastic with break points, which does not affect the quality of the sample, but also facilitate the handling and transport of samples, often used for virus or bacterial sample sampling.

Why do I feel uncomfortable in my throat after using a nylon flocked swab?

The fibers falling off the swab head may cause some itching in the throat. However, in general, the sampling time is relatively short and will not lead to many fibers falling off, and it is normal for fibers to fall off occasionally.

Are nylon flocked swabs harmful to the human body?

Medical flocked sampling swabs belong to medical devices, not only produced for the record, and there are strict production environment requirements and quality control standards. Qualified products must be non-toxic and harmless. The workshop can only be produced and put into use after meeting the relevant standards of quality supervision, so the flocked swabs are harmless to the human body.

“HCY, Health care for you” is our forever mission. We dedicate to offering safe & reliable products and medical services with our global creditable partners. HCY has already supplied to WHO, MAYO clinic, MGI, DDC, Yale University, Qorvo, Quanterix, Thomas Scientific, SD biosensor, Cardinal Health, Cleveland Clinic, Mars Petcare & LumiraDx, etc. in the past years.

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