I don’t agree with this at all because I firmly believe that coatings manufacturers have been very diligent over the years in developing safe biocides and really focusing on the need for agents which would retard the spread of bacteria. They also have the studies to back up their research and claims. In the days of solventborne coatings, we didn’t have the same problem because bacteria did not grow in solvent, but since the advent of waterborne and emulsion systems bacteria have a medium to thrive. But the industry has been on top of this for years and doing a good job in my opinion.
Our industry leaders have spent a great deal of research dollars on not only inhibiting pathogen growth but also focusing on improving indoor air quality and eliminating odor. For health care facilities, coatings can not only kill bacteria on the painted surface but retard and/or prevent the growth of fungi and mold - all of which is extremely important, particularly in the health care industry.
The terminology in this area can be confusing. It is my understanding that an antimicrobial agent will inhibit the growth of microbes, mildew and mold. An antimicrobial surface contains an antimicrobial agent that inhibits or reduces the ability of microorganisms to grow on the surface of the material. An antibacterial agent (a type of antimicrobial) is one that interferes with the growth and reproduction of bacteria. They play a major role in protecting the coating film. A microbicidal agent kills microorganisms, such as bacteria, on the surface of the coating film. Products claiming to kill microorganisms must be EPA registered. We have coatings in the marketplace that have microbicidal agents and are capable of killing microorganisms.
It is important to note that on June 9, the American Coatings Association (ACA) sent a letter to Kaiser Permanente’s National Facilities Services to provide the industry’s perspective on the Kaiser ban. In essence they are urging Kaiser to exempt both treated articles and FIFRA registered products manufactured by the industry. I was happy to see this as we cannot just sit by and not defend the good work that has been accomplished by the coatings manufacturers and all of the documented research that supports the industry’s concern and responsible action in trying to provide clean and safe environments. Coatings technology has made significant advances and we often don’t proclaim that fact to the news media.
For the detailed response by the ACA go to: https://www.paint.org/aca-letter-kaiser-explains-uses-antimicrobials-paints-coatings/#sthash.3nw07rex.dpuf