Adding antimicrobial additives is a method to create products that are resistant to the adverse effects of microbes. Examples of microbes are bacteria, mould and fungi. Microbes may change or deteriorate the mechanical or electrical properties of materials. They may also cause stains, discolouration, odours and hygienic problems.
Antimicrobial technologies are applied to a wide range of materials such as plastics (polymers), paints, coatings, textiles, ceramics, paper and building products.
Antimicrobial additives (or bio-stabilisers) may be based on silver (ion), zinc, copper and organic biocides. Antimicrobials, same as antibiotics, can be controversial because organisms may become resistant to the biocide. Make sure that the antimicrobial additives are approved in your destination markets.
Products that are treated with antimicrobials have to comply with the Biocidal Products Regulation (EU) 528/2012. This legislation regulates the approval of active substances that 'attack' harmful (micro-)organisms.