We are taught at a very early age to wash our hands before handling food and after using the bathroom. We change bedsheets, scrub toilet bowls, mop the floor, and clean soap scum on the shower door every week. 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. These high touch surfaces can be breeding grounds for bacteria because they tend to be cleaned with less frequency than other surfaces.
In addition to our homes, similar observations about the spread of germs on unprotected surfaces were made in hospitals. Without a systems approach to product protection, door and faucet handles were found to have the highest bacterial count, with door handles also harboring the greatest variety of organisms.
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. In partnership with Spectrum Brands, makers of Kwikset door hardware, the Microban® team set out to create a process that would both meet the rigorous durability requirements of door hardware, and provide an added level of protection for these high touch surfaces. Ultimately, Microban technology was incorporated into the 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 technology works continuously to protect the coatings while maintaining the aesthetics of the hardware.
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 and Spectrum have selected Microban’s SilverShield® 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. 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.