Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
Major paint manufacturers currently market paints with claimed antimicrobial properties. Based on these claims, many painters think that are doing their clients a favour by using and recommending these products with a premium price tag. These paints not only have no definable benefits, but may also add extra risks.

Marketed to specifiers and painters as products which will 'protect' the health of the occupants of the buildings from nasty bacteria and disease they are often suggested for health care related buildings.?

These “healthy” paint products may have metals, such as silver, impregnated into them to provide the antimicrobial properties, others include substances, such as Microban, made from the chemical Triclosan, a chemical of concern because of its acute toxicity.

Research as far back as 2003 from the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concluded with findings in a comprehensive study of infection control practice that “No evidence is available to suggest that use of these [antimicrobial] products will make consumers and patients healthier or prevent disease. No data supports the use of these items as part of a sound infection-control strategy.” (

In 2006 Kaiser Permanente, well respected health insurer, similarly concluded in a position statement that “[w]e do not recommend environmental surface finishes or fabrics that contain antimicrobials for the purpose of greater infection control and the subsequent prevention of hospital acquired infections... There is no evidence that environmental surface finishes or fabrics containing antimicrobials assist in preventing infections.”

A new online forum has been setup with the purpose of helping Australian painters, the painting trade, as well as the general public, to become more educated regarding products available locally and the environmental impacts of both paints and painting methods, including 'antimicrobial paints'.

Contact Profile

National Painting and Decorating Institute

The National Institute of Painting and Decorating is an educational initiative for the painting industry in Australia and the Pacific. Membership is free for painters, apprentices, employers and employees.
Daniel W
P: 1300 319 790
M: 0402 312 234


painters, painting, education, paints, health, chemicals,



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