Biocides and antimicrobial additives' market is growing at a somewhat slowed yet steady pace. One exception where demand is a bit more speeded up and likely to continue to be in the forefront and, where inorganic, silver-based antimicrobials have gotten a lot of play, is the medical ⁄ healthcare arena. The aim of development efforts have been toward imparting a 'real' versus a 'perceived' hygienic benefit through the manipulation of various antimicrobials-mixed and ⁄ or synergistic - that are capable of better killing pathogenic organisms that cause infection and, if required, also provide long-term preservation of the plastic.
Preventing the growth of mold, mildew, fungi, algae and bacteria on polymer surfaces has been the role of long-time traditional organic biocides, such as OBPA (oxybisphenoxarsine) and isotahiazolinones such as OIT and DCOIT, including non-phthalate versions, now offered by major suppliers such as Dow Microbial Control and Akcros Chemicals. Flexible PVC applications such as roofing, flooring, wall coverings, pool liners and cable jacketing still account for about two-thirds of global consumption of antimicrobial additives in plastics. Relatively more recent applications using PVC have includes gaskets for appliances such as washers, dryers and refrigerators.
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