New product gets the stink out of hockey equipment

The dangers of hockey are not confined to the action on the ice.
The stink that greets a player as they open their hockey bag prior to a game can be as damaging as the hardest bodycheck.
But for all those who’ve needed to affix a clothes-peg to their noses simply to put their equipment on, there is a solution.
Canadian Tire now has a quick and easy means of ridding hockey equipment—or any article of clothing—of unpleasant odours: the Sani Sport system.
Angus McDonald, co-owner of Canadian Tire here, is the man responsible for bringing the Sani Sport system to town. He explained bacteria in the equipment is at the root of the odour problem.
“A lot of people don’t understand that the smell is growing bacteria,” he said.
“It’s dead skin. It’s sweat. It’s moisture from the body,” he noted. “When you think about it, it’s actually quite gross.”
Besides smelling bad, bacteria in equipment is becoming a growing health concern in the sporting community.
During last season’s NHL playoffs, Buffalo Sabres’ stalwart defenceman Jay McKee was lost to the team prior to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final against the Carolina Hurricanes due to a badly-infected shin.
McKee suffered a cut on his leg while blocking a shot and it quickly developed into a staph infection that required hospitalization and treatment with antibiotics.
While the source of the infection was never determined conclusively, one theory that emerged was that the bacteria living in McKee’s equipment was to blame.
The Sani Sport system helps to eliminate the majority of unwanted bacteria in hockey equipment.
“It’s not a cleaner,” McDonald stressed. “If it [the equipment] goes in dirty, it comes out dirty. It just kills up to 97 percent of the bacteria.”
The process involves placing the equipment in a sealed compartment, where it is inundated with ozone gas. It then is “fogged” with an all-natural deodorizer and bacterial shield that helps keep new bacteria from forming.
The equipment then is sprayed one final time with a pleasant smelling anti-bacterial spray (it smells like Cherry Cola) as it is put back in the owner’s bag.
The entire process takes 16 minutes from start to finish.
In today’s health-conscious society, some people may have concerns about using ozone to kill bacteria. However, McDonald said the process is 100 percent safe.
“There are absolutely no health risks to this problem at all,” he stressed. “The ozone that’s in there is in a very, very concentrated state and then it goes through a process of the fogging that eliminates the ozone.”
While there are no set guidelines concerning how many times a season a player should have their equipment sanitized, McDonald recommends having it done twice a year.
“It varies by people because some people sweat a whole lot more than others,” he noted. “For sure do it at the end of the season before you pack everything up and for sure sometime in between that, as well.”
The Sani Sport system currently is being provided for an introductory price of $19.99 per set of equipment.

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