A Sudbury entrepreneur might have broken into the hand sanitizer market at just the right time with an alcohol-free product. Interestingly, he developed his new product last year, a few months before the pandemic made hand-sanitizer part of everyone's daily vocabulary.
Sean Patrick is the inventor of Triple Rain, a product he first created for the industrial market in 2019 as a surface cleaner, but now he hopes to market it as a COVID-19-killing hand sanitizer. He said this is coming out at a time when everyone is using hand sanitizers but worried about the harsh effects of using a raw alcohol product over and over.
"Our hand sanitizer eliminates harmful germs while keeping your hands soft and smooth with soothing natural oils," said Patrick.
Other products included in the solution are aloe vera, Vitamin E and glycerine, identified as "three natural moisturizers," according to the label on the bottle.
"Basically the active ingredients, that Health Canada approved, have been in use for a long, long time and they're in cosmetics, they're in soaps."
Patrick said there are also some ingredients that are proprietary and he cannot reveal at this time. He made a point of saying that hydrogen peroxide is not in the product. The bottle also identified his product as benzalkonium chloride spray solution, which is identified as a broad-spectrum disinfectant.
How does one know that the product actually works?
"So when I got the label approved by Health Canada, they approved everything that is in the product and based on the approval they gave me they again know what this thing does," said Patrick. He added that he sent samples of the product to a couple of university laboratories in the U.S. to have the product tested and verified.
Patrick said his research last year was involved in creating a long-lasting surface disinfectant for possible industrial uses, under the brand of Kikstick Safety Ltd. The coronavirus was not something people were worried about.
He said he saw hand sanitizer sales spiking in the U.S. back in November, but didn't fully understand why there was a demand. But being a businessman, he saw the opportunity.
"I thought, my surface disinfectant kills stuff on surfaces, if I can tweak it and provide some health benefits to the skin, maybe I can make a hand sanitizer. And that's kind of what happened almost a year ago in November," said Patrick.
The opportunity he hopes to capitalize on is that his product does not use alcohol, something Patrick said a lot of people mention. While alcohol is considered an excellent germ killer, the other concern is that repeated use might cause skin dryness, cracked skin and irritation. Health Canada has published a warning.
Patrick said the product still needs some additional administrative approvals from government. While he is waiting for that he said he is working to sell his product to hospitals and health agencies in southern Ontario.