Everyone has surely sat at least once in a train, cafe, bar or hospital waiting room on torn chairs or benches. Not only optically unappealing, but also unappetizing, and often unhygienic. These tears are often caused by microorganisms, which settle on the surface because they’ve found a fantastic food source: the plasticizer in the PVC or synthetic leather.
The normally robust PVC coating has no protection against these aggressors. Unless of course the polymer has been coated with an antimicrobial additive. Such a treatment has no negative effects on the product properties, prevents bacterial colonization and is even allowed to carry the OEKO-TEX® label. There are several additional benefits: The material stays intact, it can thus be used for longer and doesn’t develop that unintended vintage or shabby look. If the surface is breached, even normally air-borne fungi and yeast can nest in the small rips and tears.
Standard cleaning measures such as wet wiping do not show a long-term effect. This was confirmed in a study at the University of Manchester (UK) which examined hygiene in PVC floor coverings.
This hygiene measure has a permanent, 24/7 effect, even between cleaning cycles.