The world should thrive now and in the future. However, microbes can contaminate and break down many common consumer products including cleaning supplies, cosmetics, paints and coatings, fabrics, and furniture. Biocide products are critical to ensuring longer shelf lives and protecting products from spoilage.
Food and Personal Care Products
Many packaged foods and personal care products rely on antimicrobials to ensure longer shelf lives. Without the use of antimicrobials, many foods and personal care products are ideal habitats for microbes that can break down products and even pose a health risk to consumers. The judicious use of antimicrobials helps preserve products by inhibiting harmful microbial growth.
Antimicrobials are used as preservatives in many cleaning products, preventing microbial contamination of laundry detergents, fabric softeners, dishwashing liquids, and many other home and industrial cleaners. Many cleaning products contain additional antimicrobial products to serve as disinfectants for surfaces, dishes, and laundry.
Furniture and Furnishings
Antimicrobial material preservatives protect the growth of microbes in the raw materials and finished fabric, furniture, and furnishings. Microbes can contaminate the manufacturing process or break down finished products. Textiles, fibers, adhesives, plastics, inks, and more rely on biocides to prevent damage from microorganisms.
Clothing and Textiles
Microorganisms love moisture and humidity, making clothes, shoes, and textiles ideal habitats for unwanted microbial growth. These microbes can create unpleasant odors and break down textile products.
Antimicrobial technologies help inhibit microorganism growth in apparel, footwear, and home and commercial textiles. They’re used in some sportswear, athletic shoes, and home textiles such as shower curtains and table cloths.
Leather and Suede
Leather manufacture is a complex process that involves numerous steps to unhair, cure and tan hides. Each step in the process requires antimicrobials to prevent spoilage and contamination. After hides are tanned, a fungicide may be required to permit storage in humid or uncontrolled ambient surroundings. Biocides are also important in cleaning and sanitizing the facilities in which hides are processed to ensure worker safety and health.
Paints and Coatings
Many paints and coatings are treated with in‐can preservatives, with a smaller amount treated with dry‐film preservatives.
Latex paint, in particular, could not exist without the use of biocides as in‐can preservatives. The latex emulsions and aqueous bases used to manufacture latex paints provide the perfect combination of food and water essential for microbial growth. Without biocides, latex paints would fail in storage, typically presenting a loss of viscosity, malodor and product breakdown. Untreated latex paint formulations can produce sufficient microorganism growth generating gases that can potentially cause container failure. Container ruptures occur as gas pressures generated from fungal or other growth increase beyond the ability of the container to contain the pressure. Antimicrobial preservatives therefore are crucial not just to product preservation, but to product safety.
Distillation of crude oil generates hydrocarbon fuels of varied carbon chain lengths for use in many different energy‐generating applications. Fuel performance properties, such as efficiency and stability, can be negatively impacted by spoilage microorganisms, for example, in an airplane setting. Preventing expensive and potentially life‐threatening engine failure and aircraft gauge malfunction is one of the most important reasons for biocide usage in the fuel industry. Biocides are valuable additions to storage tanks, aviation fluids, fuel tanks, diesel fuel, gasoline, kerosene, marine fuels, biodiesel fuels, and in mixtures with other fuel additives and enhancers. Biocide usage is critical in some fuels to maintain their integrity during storage, distribution, and use.