Could Dow’s controlled-release polymer technology help fight Ebola?

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Hygiene Dow

Could Dow’s controlled-release polymer technology help fight Ebola?
Dow has recently teamed up with the research and development team for Unilever’s Lifebuoy soap, tackling the challenge of incorporating controlled release technology to enhance ingredient efficacy.

With the spread of highly contagious diseases such as Ebola bringing heightened awareness of hygiene practices, especially hand washing, the functionality and efficacy of soaps is highly topical and one personal care R&D teams across the world are having to raise the bar on, constantly.

Lifebuoy is marketed as the world’s #1 germ protection soap, a claim that Dow says is now backed by the incorporation of its Polyox Water-Soluble Polymer technology, which the company says has created a soap that lasts longer, offers better value to consumers and has good skin feel.

Controlled release technology optimizes ingredient efficacy

“A simple bar of soap features many complex chemistries,” ​said A.N. Sreeram, corporate vice president of Research and Development at Dow. “By collaborating directly with the Lifebuoy R&D team, we realized that the challenges they faced could be addressed with controlled release technology to design a bar of soap formulated to stay intact while releasing ingredients slowly and at the right time.

“Using Dow’s vast knowledge and expertise, we were able to apply our proven Polyox technology in a new application to meet not only our customer’s, but also their users’ needs. It all comes back to good science.”

On a broader scale, Dow believes its Polyox technology may play an important role in raising the efficacy of a wide range of soaps, and most importantly could make formulations more effective in the fight against potentially infectious germs.

Reflecting growing concerns over the spread of disease and a heightened emphasis on basic hygiene procedures, Dow names the Polyox technology as a “Breakthrough to World Challenges”.

Global Handwashing Day

Dow’s push on this technology also tied in with Global Handwashing Day, which occurs each year on October 15th​, and has become an increasingly important platform to promote the part handwashing can play in the fight against spreading disease.

This year the event received particularly heightened media attention in the light of the current Ebola outbreak, which governments and health authorities worldwide are currently facing as a major challenge to control.

The campaign was initiated by the global Public-Private Partnership for ‘Handwashing with Soap’, with the aim of reducing childhood mortality rates related to respiratory and diarrheal diseases by introducing a simple lifestyle change.

According to the organization, regular handwashing can reduce the mortality rate from preventable diseases, such as diarrhea and pneumonia, by nearly 50 percent. The importance of this measure is stressed by the statistic that every year, 1.7 million children die before the age of 5 as a result of diarrhea and pneumonia.

Related topics Formulation & Science

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