Do Antimicrobial Coatings kill Viruses?

What is an Antimicrobial Coating?

First of all, what is an antimicrobial coating?

The word ‘antimicrobial’ is derived from the Greek words: anti (against), mikros (little) and bios (life) and it refers to all agents that act against microbial organisms (note, this is not synonymous with antibiotics). Antimicrobials products include all agents that act against all types of organisms, which includes bacteria (antibacterial agents), viruses (antiviral agents), fungi (antifungal agents) and protozoa (antiprotozoal). By ‘acting against’, this could mean to either kill, or to stop the spread of these microorganisms.

In short, antimicrobials stop the spread of bacteria, viruses and fungi – so yes, they work on viruses.

The most widely known antimicrobial of course is the ‘antibacterial’ products, which are a common household name – used within hand gel, mouthwash, surface cleaner and wipes (to name a few!) – but antibacterial do not kill viruses, hence the name anti’bacterial’ – they are restricted to bacteria.

Antimicrobial products can be found around you in your daily life, whether that be in your home, workplace or even at school. The U.S EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulates antimicrobial products as pesticides, which are then used on countertops, shopping trolleys and baskets, toys and hospital equipment. The U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) regulates them as drugs/antiseptics, which are then used to treat or prevent diseases on people, pets and other living things.

Virus-killing antimicrobial coatings within hospitals and healthcare settings

Antimicrobial products are also used daily within hospitals and healthcare settings. The antimicrobial technology within disinfectants and sterilisers work to kill bacteria and viruses to help keep vital environments free of germs. These environments include operating rooms, surgeries, emergency rooms, hospital & doctors’ offices, dentists and much more. Antimicrobial products are used to kill bacteria and viruses from medical equipment, surfaces (floors, walls), chairs, and heavy-touch areas such as door handles. Antimicrobials play a vital part in helping protect human health and they are constantly helping prevent the spread of infections that would otherwise post a real threat to doctors, nurses, patients and visitors.