Biocides are chemicals intended to kill or destroy living (micro)organisms. Preservatives are chemicals used in textiles to prevent the growth of microorganisms. Both biocides and preservatives are biocidal substances which are regulated due to major health and environmental concerns. The terms biocides and preservatives are often used interchangeably. Textiles treated with biocidal products are for instance marketed as anti-mould, anti-bacterial or anti-odour.
Biocides in the textile industry are used to prevent deterioration by insects, fungi, algae and micro-organisms and to create hygienic finishing. The level of microbiological sensitivity of a textile fabric depends on the type of fibre.
The treatment with biocides can take place before and/or during textile processing.
Different techniques can be applied depending on type of fibre composition and the application of the end-product. Outdoors clothing and fabrics, carpets and curtains are often treated with biocides.
For the chemical risk assessment of materials this is essential information from your supply chain.