Research into antimicrobials pays off

Continuing growth in infection and death from the hospital super bug methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus - or - MRSA - has boosted sales of Addmaster's Biomaster MRSA combatant masterbatch to past those of 2003 in only the first half of the year.

The statistics surrounding MRSA are worrying. Infections have gone up six-fold in the past decade and are expected to double in the next six years, and each year in the UK there is a 30 per cent year on year increase in deaths caused by the bacterium.

The NHS is reported to be spending £1 billion a year on the problem, which puts the pressure on hospitals to find a solution. One of the solutions is the use of adequate biocides in the hospital environment, but the health service is naturally cautious about the use of such materials without sufficient long term proof that they are effective and otherwise harmless.

This is where Addmaster feels it has scored, by adding antimicrobial additives to its research programme some four years ago – including research into anti-MRSA additives and now seeing the results of that continuous research reaping acceptances. The approvals from the NHS have brought applications in products in use in more than 50 hospitals and Addmaster reckons it will have sold 100 tonnes of antimicrobial products by the end of the year.

Recent adoptions are by a paper producer that is incorporating Biomaster to reduce the development of bacteria on the surface of files and stationery and a flooring manufacturer that is about to launch a biocidal hospital flooring product. Addmaster has also recently developed a high heat stable grade that can be used in products that need to be autoclaved.

Other applications include soluble laundry films, textiles, furniture and medical equipment such as beds and trollies. In fact any item that comes into contact with patients and is portable is being looked on as a potential application.

Biomaster is based on inorganic chemistry which Addmaster says offers superior performance over additives based on organic chemistry in terms of heat stability, lower migration, anti-wash characteristics and all-round anti-algal and anti-fungal properties. Addmaster testing has shown the masterbatch to bring up to 99.99% reduction in MRSA and other gram positive/negative bacteria, fungi, moulds and algae.

*Please note that Addmaster was acquired by the Polygiene Group AB in January 2021, so all news articles prior to that date will still be branded as Addmaster.