About 10% of hospital patients get more sick or contract a new illness during their stay after coming into contact with germ-laden equipment and surfaces. This results in about 100,000 deaths each year in the U.S. and more than $20 billion in added healthcare costs. Doctors and hospitals across the globe have talked for years about making medical equipment “cleaner” to reduce unwanted illnesses. The Center for Disease Control even impaneled a “Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee” last year to examine the issue.

At the same time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and several leading paint and powder coating companies have strengthened efforts to fine-tune antimicrobial coatings used to finish medical equipment and supplies to prevent bacteria growth. But now it appears the antimicrobial coatings are starting to make an even bigger entry into U.S. homes. More consumer goods manufacturers are offering “germ resistant” surfaces on many household items such as refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves and other appliances and fixtures.

A report by Global Industry Analysts Inc. says the U.S. antimicrobial coatings market alone is expected to reach $1 billion by 2015. Why? Consider that the CDC says most household surfaces such as appliances, computers and other items humans use and touch every day often are laden with as much as 60 times the microbial matter found on a toilet seat.

The Global Industry Analysts report says antimicrobial products were one of the fastest growing segments of the coating industry in a slumping economy. “The medical devices segment is all set to witness an impressive growth over the years. Factors such as increasing number of hospital acquired infection cases and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid adjusting their coverage policies are encouraging greater use of antimicrobial coated medical devices,” the report says.

The U.S. antimicrobial coatings market was not affected by the worldwide economic recession and continued to display strong, double-digit growth even during the turbulent period of 2008-09, GIA reports. It also helped that media coverage of the deadly H1N1 flu outbreak and other such infections played a major role in sustaining demand for antimicrobial-coated products. “Over the near term, the market for antimicrobial coatings is poised for a bright future,” the GIA report says. “Major end-use markets such as medical, household care and food processing are all growing at a robust pace, mainly driven by the need for enhanced sanitary facilities.”

It is important that hospital administration take extra measures, such as antimicrobial paint, to keep hospitals as safe and clean as possible. Antimicrobial paint is a specially formulated paint that contains an antimicrobial agent and actually diminishes the ability of microorganisms to grow. Antimicrobial paints not only prevent bacteria from growing but they also prevent mold and mildew growth. Anti-microbial paints help prevent bacteria growth while still maintaining a beautiful atmosphere with a highly durable surface that can withstand the inevitable wear and tear that occurs in a hospital. These antimicrobial materials that are embedded within the paint not only reduce surface microbes but airborne contaminants as well and reduce 99.9% of all common pathogens. The anti-microbial protection will last as long as the expected lifespan of the paint product. Anti-microbial paints should always be applied properly by a professional commercial painting team. Professional commercial painters know how to properly apply these specialty paints in medical and hospital environments.

-Some content taken from: http://www.pfonline.com/articles/antimicrobial-coatings-billion-dollar-bugs

Author Kirsten Ghaster

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