Patent application title: Barrier-type Protection from Exposure to Community Acquired Pathogens
Elaine Reyes Kunkleman (Boyd, TX, US)
IPC8 Class: AB65D6528FI
Class name: Stock material or miscellaneous articles sheet, web, or layer weakened to permit separation through thickness
Publication date: 2012-06-14
Patent application number: 20120148783
A barrier-type protection for the temporary covering over of handles
which are likely to harbor contagions, such as those of shopping carts,
and exercise machines. The barrier can be dispensed from rolls in which
each barrier is separated by a perforation. A portion of the barrier has
an adhesive region that can adhere to an outer portion of the barrier, so
as to secure the barrier over a handle.
1. A barrier protection for covering handles comprising: 1) a length of
substrate having an inner surface and an outer surface, 2) at least one
adhesive region of the inner surface that can adhere to the outer
surface, and, 3) at least one non-adhesive corridor for placement against
a covered surface.
2. The barrier protection of claim 1, in which the barriers are disposable.
3. The barrier protection of claim 1, in which the barriers dispensed on a roll and separated by perforations.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application No. 61/459,457 filed Dec. 13, 2010
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 Not Applicable
THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT
 Not Applicable
INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC
 Not Applicable
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 This invention relates to disposable coverings, and specifically to disposable barrier protection to prevent the transfer of pathogens and soiling from one person to another.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 In any community setting such as a gym, a grocery store, a retailer, etc., a person will likely encounter a number of surfaces, from grocery store cart handles to exercise machine grips that have been previously handled by any number of people. The risk of transmitting a pathogen, whether bacterial or viral, statistically increases with the number of persons handling the surfaces over a relatively short period of time.
 Many grocers have begun to provide disinfecting wipes at the store entrance so that consumers may wipe the handles of the grocery carts before shopping. Likewise, disinfecting wipes are provided at workout and fitness establishments for the same reasons.
 Despite recent steps taken to prevent the transmittal of pathogens from contaminated surfaces to a person, infections caused by pathogens such as MRSA are on the rise and are referred to as Community Acquired Infections (CAI). One concern arising from the use of disinfectants to sterilize a surface is that most disinfectants, in order to actually disinfect, require wet contact times of 3-5 minutes on the treated surface which exceeds the patience of most consumers. Simply applying a quaternary-ammonium based disinfectant to a surface and immediately wiping clean will not eliminate surface pathogens. This fact relates to an emerging epidemiological problem: that of disinfectant resistance.
 While pathogens cannot survive indefinitely on metallic or vinyl surfaces: they do survive long enough to possibly infect a person in contact with the surfaces.
 What is needed is a disposable barrier-type protection that may be readily applied to shopping cart handles, bed rails, workout equipment handles and the like.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 In one aspect of the invention, the barrier assumes a tubular structure when wrapped over a tubular handle.
 In another aspect of the present invention, the barrier may be wrapped around a tubular handle and the ends connected with an integrated adhesive that is fused into a material substrate such as paper or plastic, or any substrate accepting of the adhesive. The barrier may be disposable and provided on rolls with perforations for separating the barrier from the roll.
 In another aspect of the invention, the barrier is re-useable and washable and may be constructed on fabric, vinyl, plastic, an elastomer, or any suitable material so as to provide washability and durability.
 In the re-useable aspect, the barrier may have a longitudinally biased core like that of a spring measuring tape so as to tensionably coil about a tubular handle. In this case, the core may possess a protective outer covering made of a flexible plastic or an elastomer such as silicone.
 In yet another aspect of the invention, the barrier telescopes to cover an exposed handle.
 In still another aspect of the invention, the barrier is tubular and constructed of a resilient foam, plastic, or other material best suited for the intended use, with a longitudinal slit for application to a handle.
 In either case of re-useable or disposable-type barriers, the barrier are removable. The material utilized for the barrier can have antimicrobial properties such as embedded titanium dioxide or nano-silver. In the case of the disposable-type barrier, the barrier may be constructed of a paper and may be removed by tearing the barrier away from the handle in cases where the handle is a loop, or simply slipping the barrier free of a handle with an exposed end.
 One object of the present invention prevent cross-contamination of surfaces.
 Another object of the present invention is assist in preventing Community Acquired Infections.
 Another object of the present invention is to reduce the amount of liquid disinfectant being improperly applied.
 Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following descriptions, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein by way of illustration and example, a preferred embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 depicts one embodiment according to the present invention distributed in roll form;
 FIG. 2 is a detail view of 2';
 FIG. 3 depicts another embodiment according to the present invention for use with hospital bed rails, and distributed in roll form;
 FIG. 4 depicts the embodiment of FIG. 3 in a typical use;
 FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 1, having been separated from the roll;
 FIG. 6 depicts another embodiment according to the present invention;
 FIG. 7 depicts the embodiment of FIG. 1 shown in a typical use;
 FIG. 8 depicts the embodiment of FIG. 1 shown in a typical use;
 FIG. 9 depicts the embodiment of FIG. 1 shown in a typical use;
 FIG. 10 depicts the embodiment of FIG. 1 shown in a typical use.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 10' barrier cover  12 dispensing roll  14 inner surface of cover  14a non-adhesive pull-away strip  14b perforations  15 collapsible folds  16 outer surface of cover  18 adhesive region  20 longitudinal slit  22 non-adhesive corridor
 Referring generally to FIGS. 1-9, a barrier for handles to guard a user against contamination or contact with pathogens is depicted.
 Referring to the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 1-4, the barrier is initially shown dispensable in roll form 12 with each barrier 10' being separated by a perforation 14b. The barriers have an inner surface 14 and an outer surface 16. The substrate material of the barrier can be single-ply plastic, foam or paper, or any combination of plastic, paper or foam, or any other material suited for its intended purpose. In a preferred embodiment, the outer surface 16 of the barrier is paper with an inner surface 14 having an adhesive region 18 which can simply be an adhesive coating applied by fusing or rolling, and covered by a pull-away (non-adhesive) strip 14a. In lieu of the pull-away non-adhesive strip, the inner surface 14 of the roll, apart from the adhesive regions 18, can be coated with paraffin or any suitable non-stick surfacing as will suggest itself to those having skill in the art, so that the adhesive regions do not stick to inner surface of the roll, but rather, stick to the outer surface of the roll 16 when the barrier 10' is wrapped around or over a handle. The inner surface may also be surfaced with thin foam layer to prevent slippage when installed over a handle belonging to a shopping cart, a treadmill or free weight handle. The adhesive can be any adhesive of light or firm tack that may be applied to a substrate.
 Turning to FIG. 4, the barrier is shown in a typical use, draped over a hospital bed side rail. The dotted lines represent the adhesive regions on the inner surface now folded against itself.
 In order to use the barrier, a user (1) tears away a single barrier from the roll 12, and (2) if the peel-away strip is included, peels away the strip 14a, and (3) wraps the barrier around a handle of a shopping cart, exercise machine or the like, taking care to (4) position portions of the barrier lacking adhesion over the handle, and wrapping the barrier so that the cover adheres to itself, forming a barrier covering, and (5) when the handle is to be cleaned, or another barrier fixed thereto, quickly and easily removing the barrier by tearing it free of the handle.
 While it is intended that barriers dispensed from the roll are disposable, conceivably, the dispensed barriers can be reused and thereby transferred by a user to another handle if the adhesive strip possesses low tack and the barrier material is sufficiently durable. The barrier material therefore, can be paper of sufficient thickness, plastic, foam, or a composite of the foregoing materials.
 In lieu of an adhesive region, the barrier can be closed by means of snap fasteners (not shown).
 The barrier can possess a antimicrobial element such as silver zeolite which would be coated on, or impregnated into the inner or outer surface.
 Turning to the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the barrier has a non-adhesive corridor 22 which is runs lengthwise each barrier and is placed over a top hand hold of a side rail of a hospital bed. When used with a hospital bed side rail, the barrier is preferably made of a paper which allows the barrier to be ripped free of the side rail when performing between-cleaning on the rooms.
 In another embodiment shown in FIG. 5, the basic structure of the barrier is similar to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-5, excepting the roll form. In this case, the barriers can be easily re-usable and constructed of any washable and durable material such as fabric, plastic, vinyl or an elastomer such as silicone. The barrier may have a core of a biased material such as metal or plastic (not shown) which causes the barrier to axially curl so that it can be slipped over a closed or open ended handle. In cases where the barrier has a bias to cause it to curl over a tubular handle, an adhesive region 18 may not be necessary to hold the barrier in place. The barrier can be any size, length or width as would suggest itself to one having skill in the art and the benefit of this disclosure.
 Referring to the embodiment shown in FIG. 6, the barrier is shown as having an accordion fold that allows it to collapse flat. The harrier is preferably closed ended and can be constructed of paper, vinyl, foam or any suitable material able to fold along crease lines. The material may be re-useable or disposable. The embodiment is shown with a longitudinal slit 20 that allows the structure to fit over close-ended handles such as are typically found on shopping carts. The embodiment shown in FIG. 6 with or without a slit 20, is especially useful with handles having a terminal end, in which case, the barrier having an accordion fold may be installed on the handle as shown in FIG. 9.
 Referring to FIGS. 7-9, the barrier is shown in typical uses covering respectively, a shopping basket, a shopping cart and the handles of a treadmill.
 While the invention has been described by the embodiments given, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth. For example, although the embodiments depict a rectangular barrier, it is not intended that the barrier be limited to a particular shape, and can be any shape as will suggest itself to those having skill in the art; and as required to fit over non-cylindrical handles. Accordingly, the invention is intended to encompass such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as disclosed.
Patent applications in class SHEET, WEB, OR LAYER WEAKENED TO PERMIT SEPARATION THROUGH THICKNESS
Patent applications in all subclasses SHEET, WEB, OR LAYER WEAKENED TO PERMIT SEPARATION THROUGH THICKNESS