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Cancer Screening behind Invention of Dissolving Wet Wipes

Cancer Screening behind Invention of Dissolving Wet Wipes

Wednesday, 25 May, 2022 - 07:45
A man holds a wet wipe in the air with a toilet in the background. (AP)

When Brian McCormack, 65, started using a home testing kit to screen for bowel cancer, he found the process awkward and inconvenient.

He felt there had to be a better way to make sampling easier, especially when it came to disposing of the collector. So, Brian headed to his kitchen - or his "lab", as he now calls it - and began experimenting with materials and household chemicals.

The decision six years ago was to turn him into an inventor of soluble products, including wet wipes.

His first foray into the world of invention did not exactly go according to plan. "During my experiments, I managed to blow up my microwave, but I didn't give up," he told the BBC.

Acknowledging his lack of chemistry skills, he was to seek and find an Ohio-based soluble paper specialist which developed, under his design patent, a stool collector that was flushable. His product was picked up by Swedish authorities but turned down by the NHS in the UK on the grounds of cost.

The setback might have put others off, but it was to kick-start a series of inventions from Brian, who now has a suite of patents under his belt. And he has now signed significant deals with cosmetics and healthcare companies in the UK and beyond.

"After a lot of hard work, I discovered I could venture into making a dissolving wipe - one that was wet that could do the job that needed done and dissolve without harming the environment," he said. "That was not easy. It must have taken me a year-and-a-half to get that perfect."

The wet wipes his company McCormack Innovation has since patented have been accredited with Water UK's "Fine to Flush" standard.

Just recently, he signed a licensing agreement with an Australian cosmetics company for a range of products, including soluble make-up removal wipes. He has also a contract with a UK-based firm to use his company's soluble wipe technology for the international stoma care market.

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