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Antimicrobial Additives in Plastics Stop Germs Before They Start


Some bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics are of great concern to hospitals and have migrated out into public places – manufacturers are looking for ways to put a stop to these microbes before they start.  Another source of great concern for microbial growth is the food processing industry. While the largest market share for antimicrobials is the food and beverage industry, the healthcare industry not far behind.

Because plastics have become ubiquitous in both of those industries, the plastics industry has been extremely proactive in developing ways to incorporate microbe inhibitors into the polymer material itself for effective and long-lasting prevention of microbe growth. Over the past two decades a number of advancements have come onto the market in the use of antimicrobial additives in polymers that can retard the growth of bacteria on the surfaces of plastic products including appliances, medical devices, hospital settings (furniture and medical equipment), public facilities, furniture (plastic chairs, for example), and food and beverage containers. According to several reports, demand for antimicrobial additives is expected to increase in the future as concern grows over the spread of bacteria through surface contact.

While many medical devices are disposable, which some market researchers claim have slowed the growth of the need for antimicrobial additives in these products, there is a real case being made for these microbe inhibitors to be used in many disposable products such as PICC lines, catheters and other devices that stay in the body but are susceptible to the possibility of bacteria from the outside.

MicroBlok™ is Plastics Color Corp.’s antimicrobial formulation for polymers that not only impedes the growth of bacteria but greatly reduces stains, odors and product deterioration. PCC’s MicroBlok antimicrobial technologies are engineered into the resins during the compounding process, eliminating the need for secondary steps in the process and helping to reduce costs.

There are several types of antimicrobial additives for polymers that have been tested and proven effective in impeding the growth of microbes. The MicroBlok product line includes additives containing either silver ions or zinc ions that disperse uniformly throughout the polymer matrix, creating an extremely high-efficiency antimicrobial action.  MicroBlok can be custom blended in a wide variety of polymer materials that can be custom formulated for molding or extrusion applications, or any special manufacturing process.

Polymer materials with antimicrobial additives from Plastics Color Corp. can provide you with that extra level of protection in a wide variety of applications, providing brand owners with the assurance that their products offer the utmost in safety to consumers.

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