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Fanis Papakostas


Fanis Papakostas
European Tissue Symposium, Germany

Fanis began his career at Unilever Group, where he progressed managing leading brands and managing key product launches in Greece and later in Germany. After a decade he moved to Beiersdorf to lead the Consumer division in Greece.

In 1997 he joined Kimberly Clark, first as a Country Manager Greece and later he moved to France to lead and re-establish the local Customer Management and to re-focus priorities. He was also Board member of Group’Hygiène, France. Eventually promoted to Vice–President of KC for South Europe. He holds an MSc in Operational Research from the University of Southampton, and a BBA from the University of Maryland.

Senior Management Symposium
Hand drying is a serious business
to communicate the outcome of the new, real-life multisite study which has found that washrooms (toilets) have significantly less bacterial contamination when equipped with paper towels for hand drying instead of jet air dryers.

The European Tissue Symposium after having strong Scientific evidence of the hygienic advantages of tissue paper at laboratory level, sponsored a new Scientific Study this time in real world settings. The study, was carried out in France, Italy and the UK and examined the extent of environmental contamination in hospital washrooms from potential bacterial pathogens when using the hand drying method.

The study compared two washrooms per hospital – each had paper towel dispensers and jet air hand dryers, but only one drying method was available to use at any given time. Each was frequented by patients, visitors and staff. A crossover design compared contamination levels within each over a 12-week period. During the study, 120 sampling sessions in total in each of the three hospitals were carried out.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria – including MRSA and ESBL-resistant enterococci – were detected more frequently in the washrooms when jet air dryers were in use.

Hand washing plays a key role in preventing cross contamination. The hand-drying method can affect the risk of (airborne) dissemination of bacteria in real-world settings. Its choice should take into account the risk of contaminating other individuals or the environment. Hand towels are the most hygienic way to dry the hands.

In all high hygiene areas it is recommended that all washrooms and hand washing facilities are supplied with single use hand towel dispensers. JADs may not be suitable for settings where microbial cross-contamination risks are high, especially hospitals.