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Germ-Killing Paint?

For executives, the ability to prevent the spread of germs in a hospital is vital.  It looks like one product could help that, but it might not be what you’d expect: it’s paint.  Paint manufacturer Sherwin-Williams has recently announced the creation of a special type of paint, designed to kill the bacteria that cause several types of hospital-acquired infections, such as MSRA, VRE, staph and E. coli.  The paint, sold under the “Paint Shield” brand, allegedly kills 99.9% of bacteria coming into contact with its surface after two hours.  The product, according to a statement from Sherwin-Williams, has passed various federal tests that prove its effectiveness.

Paint shieldPaint Shield is designed to be used on hard, nonporous surfaces, such as walls, ceilings, doors and trim.  It’s being marketed to hospitals, yet can also be used wherever you want to halt the spread of germs, such as in schools, senior care communities and even cruise ships!  While the paint has passed tests in the lab, it still needs to be used in a real-life setting, making experts wary.

Many infections are transmitted person-to-person among staff, patients and visitors, so germ-killing paint on ceilings and surfaces might not make that much of a difference.  However, according to epidemiology expert Dr. Anthony Harris of the University of Maryland, rooms housing patients are contaminated between 20% and 30% of the time, so a paint that repels bacteria could keep such infections under control.  This paint could also make a difference in isolation rooms for those patients with compromised immune systems, serving as an extra layer of protection to keep them from contracting devastating illnesses.

If this paint does do what it advertises, it won’t necessarily take the place of following the best practices for preventing infections.  Nonetheless, using the product to enhance the current infection control program could prove extremely beneficial.  If you’d like to learn more, you can click here!