Future Options for MIT-Free Preservation
The global market for water-based, technical products is growing very quickly and is gaining more recognition than ever before. Health issues, environmental impact and sustainability of technical products are in the forefront of discussions and are likely to remain key issues. People care about the impact that their purchases have on their health and the environment.
Nowadays, digital media provide access to vast amounts of information about biocides and their impact on human health and the planet. This newfound transparency has put pressure on the biocide industry to act. How has this shift affected the way paint manufacturers meet their preservation needs?
Anyone who has attempted to make a water-based product or paint without any preservation will know that microbial contamination will inevitably occur at some point in time. Just a few seconds of exposure to the environment during the production process allow spores and bacteria to nestle in the packed paint – starting the process of microbial growth. Paints and coatings provide the perfect food base for bacteria, mold and/or yeasts. Both, humid environments and room-temperature provide optimal conditions for microbes and increase their reproduction exponentially. Paint manufacturers, who are often unaware of such contaminations, are irritated when customers are asking for an explanation for their useless product. Obviously, we need to protect the paint itself.
How can we protect paints in the future without MIT, CMIT, Formaldehyde, etc.?
From a large scale perspective to paint preservation, we now face four challenges:
- Fewer options of actives and reduced amounts to reach the same classification.
- Lower raw material protection.
- Tighter regulation on more potent actives reduces the self-protection/cleaning effect of plants.
- Lower VOC content in water-based paints.
All four challenges exacerbate each other and must be compensated for by paint producers to avoid losing the trust and reputation they hold with consumers. This leads up to the question: How can we protect paints in the future without MIT, CMIT, Formaldehyde, etc.?
First of all, there are still many available options that are allowed to be used. However, these options must be used with greater care and consideration for potential liability. Deeper knowledge about microbes, contamination risks and production processes are of the same importance as gaining control and improving preventative actions to avoid contamination at an early stage. The earlier microbial growth can be hindered, the less biocide is needed. Therefore, having a clean product requires principally only enough biocide to eliminate the amount of microbes encountered during handling rather than wasting biocides in an attempt to eliminate existing microbe deposits following contamination of an untreated batch. As long as the biocide originally packaged in the paint is adequate, no growth will appear.
- How to solve the preservation challengeThe use of combination products which enhance the performance of single actives and therefore require lower dosage levels.
- Well-controlled, hygienic factories and raw materials to avoid unnecessary use of biocides.
- The use of actives tailored to the specific paint and application (contamination risks).
Live measurements of contamination are an important step in monitoring hot spots in the plant and reacting during the early stages of microbial growth. An Adenosine-Tri-Phosphate (ATP) measurement of dead and total cells is an excellent option to get a fast and quantitative answer about the actual microbial situation in the paint. Using this method, long waiting times are no longer necessary until the required biocidal measures can be implemented and the growth of microbes will be stopped much earlier, thus enabling the use of less biocide.
Deadline for the new limitation is coming closer
The new limitation of 15 ppm MIT for H317 (May cause allergic skin reaction appearing on products as of May 2020, has pressured paint manufacturers to change their preservation approaches or accept additional warning labels to avoid contamination or losing B2C sales. We’re confident that combinations of Benzisothiazolinone (BIT) + Zinc Pyrithione (ZPT) or BIT and Bronopol provide good solutions to cover the whole spectrum of bacteria, mold, and yeast at very effective dosage levels, far below H317 labeling.
SANITIZED Preservation AG would be happy to support you in finding the optimal biocidal solution for your individual products. Our microbiology lab, analytical/technical services and regulatory department in Switzerland can provide assistance for any future biocidal solutions for your paint or production.
Can we be of any assistance?
We will gladly help you find the most suitable antimicrobial solution for your products.
Please get in touch with us.