Many major paint manufacturers have brought out paint ranges with claimed antimicrobial properties. They are often marketed to specifiers and painters as being a product which will ‘protect’ the health of the occupants of the buildings where they used from nasty bacteria and disease. In some products, metals, such as silver, are impregnated into the product to provide the antimicrobial properties. In others, products such as Microban are used as antimicrobials, made from the chemical Triclosan, a chemical of concern because of its acute toxicity.
Many painters think that are doing their clients a favor by using and recommending these products, which often come with a premium price tag.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded a 2003 comprehensive study of infection control practice with the statement that “No evidence is available to suggest that use of these [antimicrobial] products will make consumers and patients healthier or prevent disease. No data support the use of these items as part of a sound infection-control strategy.” Kaiser Permanente similarly concluded in a December 2006 position statement that “[we] do not recommend environmental surface finishes or fabrics that contain antimicrobials for the purpose of greater infection control and the subsequent prevention of hospital acquired infections. There is no evidence that environmental surface finishes or fabrics containing antimicrobials assist in preventing infections.”
Is this another example of manufacturers feeding us spin? What we need are less chemicals in our paint, not more! What do you think?