Polyfuze Graphics Corp. has introduced a line of polymer fusion products that contain an antimicrobial additive. The company claims its labeling technology, which fuses the label to a polyolefin substrate, can help hospitals as they work to keep equipment cleaned and sterilized.
Clarksdale, Ariz.-based Polyfuze recently introduced the proprietary polymer fusion products with antimicrobial blocking agents. The materials are designed to exceed the labeling standards of the medical, food service, reusable packaging and health services industries, officials said in a news release.
(In addition to its antimicrobial efforts, Polyfuze has an active presence on social media, including a video of employee trying to remove one of the company's labels with a flame gun.)
The labeling technology can be used with any polyolefins where safety, health and warning labels are required, including biohazard waste containers, beds, medical carts and laundry carts.
The process eliminates sanitary and quality issues of other labeling methods that use surface applications where label edges, layers and adhesives create spaces where microorganisms can thrive and grow despite cleaning with sprays and cleaners, they added.
"By preventing just one [hospital-acquired infection] with the combination of these technologies, Polyfuze can offer its contribution to the protection of human life and help reduce the associated costs," President and CEO Matthew Stevenson said in the release.
In a message to Plastics News, strategic advisor Ed Trueman said that the antimicrobial materials are being introduced for injection molding applications. He added that Polyfuze is working with molders to replace in-mold labels.
Sales executive Jennifer May added in a message to PN that many current labels in the medical waste area are adhesive based and peel off between uses, exposing edges and make it hard to disinfect.
"Since our labels are the same material as the [polyolefin] container, they are literally embedded into the surface creating a label-free, flat surfaced look and feel," she said.
"This makes them easily disinfected in between patients in a hospital setting and easily sanitized deeply by pressure washing stations at medical waste facilities all without ever losing the label, bar code or warning/hazard information needed on the containers," May added.