We are taught at a very early age to wash our hands before handling food and after using the bathroom. We change bed sheets, scrub toilet bowls, mop the floor, and clean soap scum on the shower door every week. We dust the shelves every couple of weeks and wipe the counter top as soon as we see visible signs of dirt or mess.
However, most of us do not differentiate visible cleanliness from hygiene, and tend to forget about handles, knobs and switches in our homes and public spaces. While we are busy cleaning bread crumbs from our dining tables, we are forgetting about these commonly touched areas of the home that do not show visible signs of being dirty.
These often-touched surfaces can be breeding grounds for bacteria because they tend to be cleaned with less frequency than other surfaces. There is significant benefit to be gained from the addition of antimicrobial surface coatings to these products, such as limiting the spread of germs.
Contaminated High-touch Surfaces vs. Antimicrobial Surfaces
In addition to our homes, similar observations about the spread of germs on unprotected surfaces were made in hospitals. Without antimicrobial surface protection, door and faucet handles were found to have the highest bacterial count, with door handles also harboring the greatest variety of organisms.
Not all organisms are harmful to people, but common pathogens have been reported to survive for months on dry surfaces without antimicrobial surface coatings. High touch surfaces in the hospital, such as those close to the patient, harbor the most bacteria. Unfortunately, research has found that hand-hygiene compliance of healthcare workers after touching a patient’s surroundings, especially door handles, is often lacking. Surfaces with antimicrobial surface protection result in reduced bacteria on the surface over time.
Why Microban’s Technology Is the Choice Antimicrobial Surface Coating
While first introduced as a greener alternative to traditional solvent-based paint, powder coatings with antimicrobial surface protection are now recognized as the superior option in numerous environments and applications. Due to proven effectiveness and performance, Microban’s antimicrobial technology is frequently chosen by manufacturers for incorporation into powder surface coatings for these high touch surfaces. Hardware commonly found in these environments, such as door locks and handles or kitchen and bathroom faucets, is usually powder coated to protect the metal from oxidation and corrosion. Now, as part of the evolution of Microban® technology, antimicrobial surface protection can also be effectively added to the powder coat material.
Microban has worked with IFS Coatings and Spectrum Brands to incorporate antimicrobial surface protection into powder coat materials used for Kwikset brand door hardware. The powder coat materials have been tested using stringent standardized test methods, as well as simulated real life exposure challenges. Built-in Microban antimicrobial surface technology works continuously to protect the coatings while maintaining the aesthetics of the hardware.
“Often hardware is used outside, which means the coating has to stand up to weathering, humidity, salt air and corrosion potential...Not only does hardware have to stand up to exterior conditions but it is constantly touched by its users. Adding antimicrobial capability to your hardware powder is a simple step that ensures another level of protection.” (IFS Coatings and Spectrum Brands)
Microban’s Powder Coat for Antimicrobial Surfaces
Powder coat with Microban antimicrobial technology is extremely weather resistant. It protects the decorative colors, is not oxidized by oxygen or tarnished by sweat and moisture. Manufacturers like IFS have selected Microban’s SilverShield™ antimicrobial surface technology because it is easily incorporated during the manufacturing process and does not impact the durability of the powder coat or aesthetics of the product. Because it is incorporated during the manufacturing process, the integrated technology becomes a permanent part of the powder coat and continues to perform for the life of the coating. Aside from normal cleaning, the surface is designed to be maintenance free. SilverShield™ is registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as safe to use in a variety of applications including those that come in contact with food. The technology is also approved in the EU by the BPR.
At Microban, our focus is on developing innovative antimicrobial solutions that protect products from the inside out. We work closely with our partners to identify key goals and objectives, then combine science and technology to create true product improvements. To learn more about Microban’s antimicrobial surface protection using powder coatings, contact us today!
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