Antimicrobials
Compound Group

The term “antimicrobials” is a general term to describe a variety of substances that kill or control the growth of microbes, including bacteria and fungi.

These substances are regulated as pesticides by the US Environmental...

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The term “antimicrobials” is a general term to describe a variety of substances that kill or control the growth of microbes, including bacteria and fungi.

These substances are regulated as pesticides by the US Environmental Protection Agency and can present hazards to human and/or environmental health.

A great number of products on the market incorporate antimicrobials into their composition because they require preservation.  Water-based formulations and certain polymers are vulnerable to microbes that would otherwise feed on these materials and over time compromise their performance or appearance.

Some products on the market may include antimicrobials not for preservation, but to kill microbes that might make us sick.  However, to date there is no evidence that adding antimicrobials these products result in healthier populations, and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have both issued statements advising that adding antimicrobials to such products are unnecessary.

The inclusion of antimicrobials in finished products – especially when used as preservatives – is not always disclosed and it may be difficult to determine what additives are present, and in what amounts.

This is a partial list of antimicrobial additives that may be present in building products as identified by Healthy Building Network in 2016.  

Sources include the FDA: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/09/06/2016-21337/safety-and-effectiveness-of-consumer-antiseptics-topical-antimicrobial-drug-products-for

Group I Human
Group II and II* Human
Ecotox
Fate
Physical
Mult
Non-GSLT
C
M
R
D
E
AT
ST
ST
N
N
SnS
SnR
IrS
IrE
AA
CA
ATB
P
B
Rx
F
PBT
GW
O
All Hazards
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