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Hand hygiene awareness sparks sales growth

Published 29th December, 2016 by Neil Nixon

Hand hygiene awareness sparks sales growth

With the heightened threat of Ebola, swine flu and other infectious illnesses looming over the UK population, Airedale Chemical has seen the demand for its surfactants range more than double since 2014. Surfactants are a key ingredient of many personal care lines but are predominantly used in hand cleaning goods and figures have rocketed since the nation has become increasingly conscious of its hand hygiene.

Sales for Airedale Chemical’s own surfactant range, Airsurf, have increased by around 150% in the last two tears, reflecting the nation’s intensified hand hygiene habits. Liquid soap is now a clear preference with 87% of people choosing the bottled cleanser rather than traditional bars and over 50% of us use hand sanitiser gels, purchasing them at least once a month.

Daniel Marr, group head of marketing at Airedale Chemical, said: “More than ever we are conscious that cleaning our hands can prevent the spread of infectious illnesses with a large proportion of food-borne diseases being spread by dirty hands. Thorough hand hygiene practices can greatly reduce these risks and widespread media coverage of diseases such as swine flu, bird flu, Ebola and Campylobacter has fuelled public awareness of how important hand hygiene is in the fight against contagions. Surfactants have been used in one form or another for centuries. However, it’s only in the last 150 years the manufacture of these products has really evolved following the increased number of surfactants and chemical processes available on the market.”

As surfactants are attracted to water and fat in equal amounts they reduce surface tensions allowing two systems to mix so active ingredients come together.

“Many of our products are used in the healthcare sector where good hand hygiene is imperative and health workers can wash their hands up to 100 times during a shift,” continued Marr. “Also, with improved hand hygiene resulting in a 41% drop in new cases of MRSA across the NHS, it is clear to see that hand hygiene is a booming industry and consequently ingredients such as surfactants are equally in demand. Our future sales and marketing strategy will include a plan for this shift in hygiene practices.”

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