Antiviral FAQ

Explore some of the frequently asked questions about antiviral product protection.

Contact our experts today to learn more


Only Microban antimicrobial technologies that are/will be EU BPR compliant and are registered with US EPA are being/will be offered for sale. For treated articles in the US, antiviral technologies may only be incorporated into products that also bear EPA registrations.

How Does Antiviral Technology Differ From Antimicrobial Technology?

Antimicrobial technology is a general term for any action or activity that destroys or inhibits the survival and growth of bacteria, fungi, and/or viruses. Antimicrobials will kill bacteria, fungi, and inactivate viruses. Antimicrobials include:

  • Antibacterial technologies that are specifically designed to reduce or kill bacteria
  • Antifungal technologies that are specifically designed to reduce or kill fungi
  • Antiviral technologies that are specifically designed to reduce the number or inactivate viral particles

It should be noted that some antimicrobial technologies are also antiviral. However, not all antimicrobial technologies are antiviral. Also, when stating that a substance is antiviral, you must also specify which virus is affected.

What Are the Benefits of Microban Antiviral Technologies?

Microban technologies are proven to reduce tested viruses* by over 99% on the treated substrate per international standards ISO 20743 (24 hours) and ISO 18184:2019 (2 hours). When Microban developed our technology suite, we had two criteria we wanted to fulfill:

  1. We wanted to be able to show a real antiviral effect that could be tested by a standard method, to allow our partners to make claims in the marketplace, and
  2. We wanted to be able to take these solutions to a broad set of partners in all geographies to maximize the impact of the antiviral treatment on their products.

*Antimicrobial and antiviral efficacy may vary depending on substrate type, application dosage of the treatment, impurities, and application procedure.

How Does Microban Antiviral Technology Work?

Since viruses are made of particles rather than cells, antiviral technologies inactivate viruses instead of killing them. Antivirals usually do the following:

  • Disrupt the structure of the outer protein coat
  • Disrupt the structure of the nucleic acid (DNA/RNA) that is inside. These structural disruptions cause the virus to:
    • Lose the ability to recognize host cells
    • Lose the ability to bind to host cells
    • Lose the ability to produce more nucleic acid (DNA/RNA)

Generally, antiviral technologies cause viruses to lose the ability to remain viable on surfaces and reduce the virus's ability to infect and multiply in living cells.

In Which Products/Materials Can Microban Antiviral Technologies Be Applied?

Microban antiviral technologies can be applied into/onto textiles, polymers, and coatings:

  • Polymers are chemical compounds made of long and repeating chains. Polymers are widely used because they can be shatter-resistant, stretchable, and flexible, making them useful for various functions. Many polymers have been used for antiviral composite materials in which the antiviral agents are encapsulated in polymers to form antiviral composites. The encapsulated antivirals are designed such that a critical surface amount is able to neutralize specific viruses.
  • Polymers with antiviral and viricidal effects are mainly used as coatings. These cover the surface of many substrates.
  • Polymers with an affinity for water (hydrophilic polymers) can be treated with chemicals that contain quaternary ammonium groups and hydrocarbon chains to modify fabrics. In such cases, the antiviral treatment acts by disrupting lipid-enveloped viruses upon contact.

Are Microban Technologies Effective Against Viruses? If So, Which Strains?

  • Microban has developed technologies that are effective against viruses. These include:
    • Microban’s residual disinfectant and residual sanitizing products
    • Specialized coatings that can be spray applied to public spaces to deactivate SARS-CoV-2
    • Technologies that can be built into polymers, textiles, and coatings to provide lasting effectiveness against viruses
  • These technologies, and performance claims that can be made on treated articles, are subject to regulatory requirements in the global region of sale.

If I Add an Antiviral Technology to my Product, Does That Mean I Can Automatically Make Antiviral Claims?

Antiviral claims are public health claims, and we need to adhere to regulatory requirements and allowances in the global region of sale of the treated product. Microban’s global regulatory team can aid your marketing department in developing compliant claims language to assist you in avoiding costly enforcement action and product recalls from regulatory bodies.

There are strict regulatory requirements in the US for making antiviral health claims. In general, this requires registration of the product itself as a pesticidal product.

Does Antiviral Technology Help Against All Viruses?

We have tested the active ingredient against Influenza A, Bird Flu, Norovirus, and Corona (SARS) and have been able to achieve 99% levels of reduction. Using the international standards ISO 20743 and 21702 and ISO 18184:2019 we are able to show a consistent reduction of the antiviral activity on treated products at a level of 99%.

What Are The International Antiviral Test Methods for Treated Articles?

ISO 18184 Textiles - Determination of antiviral activity of textile products

  • Assesses the performance of treated textile products (woven and knitted fabrics, fibers, yarns, braids)

ISO 21702 - Measurement of antiviral activity on plastics and other non-porous surfaces

  • Assesses the performance of treated plastics and other non-porous surfaces

Does Microban Offer/Conduct Antiviral Testing?

Microban is able to, through a network of global labs, conduct antiviral testing for developmental products. Due to the high cost of antiviral testing, we work carefully with prospects to ensure that commercial interests are fully understood.

How Long Does Microban Antiviral Product Protection Last?

Microban technologies are durable and always-on treatments. For wearable articles, it is best to minimise washing to maintain the best levels of performance and sustainability.

Can Microban Antiviral Technologies Be Used Next to Skin?

Many of our technologies do not affect the skin as they do not interfere with the skin’s natural bacterial flora.

How Is Microban Antiviral Technology Applied to Products and Surfaces?

Microban technologies are incorporated at the point of manufacture, as close to the finishing stage of production as possible. No additional water or energy is needed and therefore the impact on the environment is reduced.

In Which Products Can Microban Antiviral Technologies Be Used?

It can be used in almost any manufactured product or surface.

Do Permissible Antiviral Claims Differ In Territories/Countries Around the World? If So, How?

Yes, antiviral claims differ in territories/countries around the world. When you choose to partner with Microban, we will help you craft acceptable claims language for your specific countries of sale.

Can You Make Direct Health Claims About Antiviral Treated Articles?

There are strict regulatory requirements in the US, Canada, and Europe for making health claims. In general, this requires registration or authorization of the product itself as a pesticidal/biocidal device or product. This could be a multi-year investment that is resource intensive. There can be alternative routes that do not require this approach. Our regulatory team can help you with this should you choose to partner with Microban to treat your products.

Making antiviral claims in Europe may require registration or authorization of the treated article. However, there may be alternative routes that do not require this approach.