We live in a time where we are more and more aware of bacteria in our everyday lives. We can now buy products for personal use and for home use that will help inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Americans spend upwards of $195 million on hand sanitizer each year to protect themselves from bacteria and viruses.
This same concept, protecting ourselves from bacteria and viruses, carries over into plastic manufacturing and is not a new concept. Antimicrobial additives have a firm place in plastic production as they can help protect and lengthen the life of plastic products.
Why are antimicrobial additives used in plastic products?
These additives are used because bacteria and fungi are known to feed on plastic and polymer additives. This wouldn’t be an issue, but over time the bacteria and fungi can cause the integrity of the product to break down over time. This is especially true in outdoor applications where other environmental elements are also stressing the product.
Microbial attack on industrial and consumer polymers can also cause issues in addition to degrading such as staining and unwanted smells. Introducing the antimicrobial additives will help preserve the integrity of the product and extend its life expectancy.
Example of polymers with and without antimicrobial additives after a 24-hour exposure to MRSA:
These samples were incubated for 24 hours at 98F. The treated polymer had 99.99% less MRSA than the untreated sample.
What products benefit from antimicrobial additives?
There are many instances in which antimicrobial additives are suitable. The number of applications continues to grow but common products with antimicrobial additives include but are not limited to:
- Building Products. Applications include roofing materials, pipes, flooring, vinyl siding, windows, and insulation.
- Commercial Products. Products include automotive interiors, seating, packing, PVC blinds, signage, and electronic elements.
- Products include small appliances, toilet seats, mattresses, flooring, cutting boards.
- Applications include business supplies, seating, countertops and storage, and medical devices.
- Products include footwear, duffle bags, sports equipment, and wrestling and yoga mats.
Taking the Antimicrobial Leap
If you are ready to consider adding antimicrobial additives to your products, we can help! Phoenix Plastics has been in business for 40 years and in that time, we have perfected the process and use antimicrobial agents you can trust to extend the life and integrity of your products.