Demand for Protective Garments Made with APTRA® Manufactured by BI-AX Skyrockets as Debate on Ebola Includes Possibility of Air Borne as well as Blood Borne Transmission

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Made with APTRA® breathable microporous film demand for made-in-America ProVent ® 10,000 clothing by Kappler Inc. soars with two days of orders surpassing two years of annual sales.

Kappler ProVent ® 10,000 protective garment

There is unprecedented demand for protective garments using APTRA® – a breathable microporous plastic film that resists both contact, droplet and airborne transmission of pathogens.

More than 500 front-line health care workers have contracted Ebola since the epidemic began in Dec. of 2013, and 269 have died, according to World Health Organization statistics compiled through the end of October. In addition, some of the nation’s top infectious disease experts believe that the deadly virus could mutate and be transmitted by just a cough or sneeze. “These factors have created unprecedented demand for protective garments using APTRA® – a breathable microporous plastic film that resists both contact, droplet and airborne transmission of pathogens,” said Tom Inglis, General Manager of BI-AX International Inc. of Tiverton, ON.

BI-AX manufactures innovative plastic products like APTRA® as well as compostable, biodegradable bio-plastic films like Evlon. One of the APTRA® customers in North America is Kappler Inc., a made-in-the-USA manufacturer of protective garments including ProVent ® 10,000 coveralls, gowns, lab coats and boots for healthcare workers. Kappler customers in turn include the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and “in-the-know” orthopedic surgeons and nurses who insist on the best protective clothing for operating theatres where transmission of pathogens is a constant risk.

Dennis Sanders, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Guntersville, AL-based Kappler, said that the Ebola outbreak has resulted in “orders over two days that surpass two years worth of past orders for our ProVent ® 10,000 healthcare garments made with APTRA®.”

Kappler’s products also include a line of industrial, hazardous materials (HAZMAT) and security garments where there is zero margin for error in work environments for risks such as chemical contamination. “The medical side of our business has just exploded and we are now switching assembly lines over to ProVent ® 10,000 to keep up with demand,” added Sanders.

According to Kappler, APTRA® film is a barrier to blood and body fluids that contain viruses or pathogens based on the ASTM F-1671 test method, and blood resistance to the ASTM F-1670 test method.

BI-AX produces the APTRA® microporous film used by Kappler under contract for RKW Danafilms Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of The RKW Group. Based in Frankenthal, Germany, the company is Europe’s largest plastic film producer.

According to RKW’s German Sector Manager Robert Voggenauer, APTRA® film is also rip and tear resistant in hurricane-force winds, while sufficiently porous to provide breathability and comfort for healthcare workers who may be working in hot climate conditions.

APTRA® also offers a green advantage. “In the case of mass-produced healthcare garments,” said Voggenauer. “APTRA® is 100% non-poisonous – so if it is incinerated after use, the only outputs are carbon and water. In cases where it is used in a non-contaminated environment, it is also 100% recyclable.”

Kappler garments are constructed using the ProVent ® 10,000 fabric. This fabric is a breathable barrier to blood and viral hazards such as Ebola and passes the ASTM F-1671, Standard Test Method for Resistance of Materials Used in Protective Clothing to Penetration by Blood-Borne Pathogens Using Phi-X174 Bacteriophage Penetration as a Test System.

Kappler emphasizes that a protective garment is only one part of a system of protection that should include eye and face protection by means of respirators and face masks/shields. Gloves should also be used to provide total skin coverage.

Media Contact Information

Dennis Sanders
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Kappler Inc.
Email: dsanders at kappler dot com
Phone: +1 (800) 600-4019

Robert Voggenauer
Sector Manager
RKW Group
Email: Robert.Voggenauer at rkw-group dot com
Phone: +49 (0)8071/72 279

Tom Inglis
General Manager
BI-AX International Inc.
Office: +1 (519) 357-1818
Email: tinglis at biaxinc dot com

Paul Brent
Senior Communications Strategist
market2world communications inc.
Email: paul at market2world dot com
Phone: +1 (613) 256-3939

About Kappler Inc.

In 1976, very little was known about chemical protective clothing, and a new company called Kappler was just getting started on its mission to “keep bad stuff off people”. The years since have seen Kappler define an entire industry with patented fabrics, innovative seaming technology and unique garment designs. For more than 35 years, Kappler has built a reputation for quality, innovation and straightforward advice on what to wear. Today more than ever, the Kappler brand on your garment means you always know what you’re getting into. If the sign says “Danger” and the suit says “Kappler” you can relax. http://www.kappler.com

About The RKW Group

The RKW Group is one of the leading international manufacturers of high quality plastic films and nonwovens. On an annual basis, more than 3,000 employees process over 420,000 tons of plastic materials in 23 locations around the world. The RKW Group offers a broad range of product and service solutions in films and nonwovens for the hygiene and medical field, for the converting industry, for industrial and consumer packaging as well as for the agricultural and construction sectors. For almost 60 years, the RKW Group has been setting standards in terms of quality, innovation, and service from which our local and global customers benefit. The independent, family-owned company generated sales of 860 million euros in 2013. For 2014, the company plans on achieving sales of 950 million euros. http://www.rkw-danafilms.com

About BI-AX International Inc.

BI-AX International is a Canadian-owned company committed to the manufacture of BI-AXially oriented films including APTRA ® breathable microporous film and Evlon® compostable packaging film. The company’s 225,000 square-foot facility in Wingham, ON produces plastic films that it ships around the world. Another 40,000 square-foot production line in Tiverton, ON focuses on research, development and commercialization of new products. BI-AX is an innovative corporation with a team of professionals dedicated to creating the finest quality BI-AXially oriented film and sheet for package and label applications. http://www.biaxinc.com and http://www.evlon.ca.

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