Most of us are blissfully unaware of the microorganisms that share our living environments. Fighting off germs that are common to our home environments strengthens our immune systems. Advance years or conditions of bodily stress can weaken or overwhelm the immune system. This is why it is crucial for medical care and senior living facilities to maintain exceptionally hygienic environments. In social gatherings each individual faces unfamiliar germs. Educational and public facilities, as well as public transit systems are also major factors in the spread of disease.
All “germs” are not created equal. Bacteria, molds and fungi are complete living organisms. They carry on their life functions within their own cells. Viruses, on the other hand, are not complete and can only carry on reproduction and metabolism when inside a host organism. That is why antibiotics are not effective on viruses. This distinction becomes important in regard to the term “antimicrobial”. Where a manufacturer claims a product to be “antimicrobial” the product may or may not include effectiveness on viruses dependent on its killing mechanism. When in doubt, check with the manufacturer.
Over the last few decades advances in science technology have made it possible to see matter and life forms down to the level of atoms and molecules. This led to the discovery and study of virus particles. It also launched a new research field called nanotechnology. It was discovered that the electrostatic and covalent bonding of some metallic molecules could be harnessed to create superior antimicrobial products. This gave rise to the manufacture of a myriad of “antimicrobial’ products.
In 2007 announcements of coatings based on titanium oxide appeared. These coatings work when visible light energizes the titanium oxide particles, posing an oxidizing lethal barrier to microbes. Original forms required UV light, newer forms are effective with indoor incandescent or fluorescent lighting. It is available in ready to use spray products for application to many surfaces, turning them into round the clock warriors in the fight against the spread of bacterial and viral diseases.
Silver is a natural element and is non toxic to humans in the applications discussed below. Most healthcare professionals have heard about Crypton fabrics. This is one of several applications built on silver ion chemistry.
There are a wide range of options in furniture, wall coverings, floor coverings and window treatment that will provide the built in effectiveness of these technologies; transforming the entire facility into a virtual self-sanitizing germ free environment.