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Cascades creates antiseptic paper towel product

CANDIAC, Que. – After five years of research and development, Cascades is entering the ‘intelligent paper’ market with a novel approach in the fight against the spread of bacteria by hand contact. The first application of this new market niche is an antibacterial hand towel with persistent action, which already has a provisional patent.

“The future of Cascades is predicated on innovation. Our R&D teams worked tirelessly to develop this solution of the future, an intelligent antibacterial paper hand towel that offers added value in the fight against the spread of bacteria by hand contact,” said Alain Lemaire, president and CEO of Cascades Inc. “This innovation responds to a need for improved hand hygiene that is frequently cited by public health experts in recent years. It’s part of a new offensive for Cascades, which is committed to developing a new market niche.”

Antibacterial and intelligent
The recent innovation by the Cascades Tissue Group contributes to optimizing hand hygiene by combining effective drying with persistent antibacterial protection. The intelligent antibacterial paper hand towel quickly reduces the amount of bacteria left on the hands after washing and provides antibacterial protection for 30 minutes afterward, unlike popular products such as alcohol-based hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps. The paper is referred to as intelligent because it compensates for people’s imperfect hygienic habits without changing the way they do things.

“Cascades Tissue Group supervised the R&D process for the development of the intelligent antibacterial paper hand towel and is working on introducing it to the market,” said Suzanne Blanchet, president and CEO of Cascades Tissue Group. “Our priority targets are settings where bacterial propagation by hand contact is a major issue: the food-processing and restaurant industries, public places such as schools and daycare centres, as well as medical clinics and long-term care facilities, commercial aircraft and cruise ships. We believe the intelligent antibacterial paper hand towel could represent a market niche equal to 35% the total volume of hand towels on the market.”

A US study published in the Journal of Food Protection in 2006 shows that only 32% of agrifood-industry workers wash their hands properly. As well, in the healthcare setting, optimal conditions for hand hygiene are believed to be below 40%, according to the three organizations behind Canada’s very first “Stop! Clean Your Hands!” Day on May 5: Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Accreditation Canada and the Community and Hospital Infection Control Association-Canada.

Cascades Tissue Group’s intelligent antibacterial paper hand towel :
how it works

When drying your hands with the antibacterial hand towel, the water on your hands solubilises and releases an antibacterial substance. This quickly reduces the amount of bacteria left on your hands and protects against subsequent bacterial contamination for 30 minutes. This unique release process was developed by Cascades.

Benzalkonium chloride is released through contact with water in a maximum concentration of 0.1%. The antibacterial properties of this quaternary ammonium have been recognized in the scientific community. Its safety profile and spectrum of antibacterial action have been well documented. Quaternary ammoniums such as benzalkonium chloride are widely used in various products such as broad-spectrum germicides, hand sanitizers, shampoos, and disinfectants for food preparation surfaces. In keeping with Cascades’ tradition, the product is manufactured under the best environmental standards. The paper is green, to distinguish it from regular paper hand towels.

When Cascades Tissue Group provided a sample of the intelligent antibacterial paper hand towel to Dr. Richard Marchand, microbiologist-infectiologist, Montreal Heart Institute, he commented on the timely arrival of this innovation. “It’s a unique tool in that it doesn’t require users to change their behaviour. It compensates for our bad habits and less than meticulous attention to hand hygiene. We know that hand hygiene depends on effective washing and drying, and yet fewer than half of people wash their hands for the recommended 20 to 30 seconds. On average, good hand hygiene eliminates only 90% of bacteria on the hands. The bacteria remaining on the hands could double in number in 20 minutes and migrate from the hands to other surfaces.”

Posted May 20, 2010