PCC (Plastics Colour Corporation), a supplier of colour concentrates, compounds, additive masterbatches and other polymer technologies, has released a paper on antimicrobials in polymers.
The paper aims to explain the development and use of antimicrobials in medical, consumer and other applications and examines the application of antimicrobial plastic resins.
In the U.S. alone, 1.8 million hospital-associated infections lead to 99,000 deaths each year, killing more people annually than AIDS, breast cancer and automobile accidents combined.
The new white paper, available by request on PCC’s website, reportedly provides an in-depth look at the various chemical and biological methods used to inhibit microbe growth, the spread of disease and the deterioration of materials.
In explaining the need for antimicrobials in plastic the paper states: “The sheer ubiquity of plastics in modern society makes them a logical candidate for antimicrobial use. It would be difficult in a developed nation to go through an average day without contacting a plastic surface in your car, home, work or virtually any other public or private setting. To the extent that contact with plastic is practically unavoidable, efforts to minimize the spread of pathogens via that contact are clearly worthwhile.”
The proliferation of plastic items in virtually all settings subject to human contact provides an opportunity to address many concerns by engaging microbes proactively on product surfaces where they colonize and are spread via contact. Using select antimicrobial formulations matched to appropriate resins, the plastics industry is producing a wide variety of antimicrobial polymers for use in medical, industrial, commercial, marine and home applications.