Microban® & Microbes = Germ Warfare

Microban® & Microbes = Germ Warfare

If you are anything like me you occasionally watch a HGTV or DIY network show and you see homes remodeled and improved. Lately they have had numerous products with Microban® protection. Sounds impressive but what are they talking about?

First let’s start with, what is a microbe? Microbes are single cell organisms that are too small to see with the human eye. Microbes are everywhere, inside your body, in the air you breathe, in the ground, and in our food. They are necessary for plant growth, digestion for people and animals, and for planet survival. The average human has 3 pounds of microbes on and in their bodies, according to Oppenheimer Biotechnology, Inc. Some microbes are beneficial others are harmful. Microbes can be germs, bacteria, viruses, mold and fungi.

In the late 1980’s a group of scientists got together to try and come up with a way to make a hospital’s surgery less germy more sterile. The quest was to make medical devices, surgical equipment and surgical drapes resistant to microbial contamination. Consider the vulnerability of a patient’s systems during surgery to infection, if surfaces could resist microbial infestation it would make the surgical center much safer for patients. They were successful! Thus Microban® was born.

Microban® is an antibacterial technology that is incorporated at the time of manufacturing in plastics, solids, coatings and fabrics to suppress bacterial growth that causes contamination. According to www.microban.com when microbes come in contact with the product surface, Microban® protection penetrates the cell wall of the microorganism and disrupts cell functions making the microorganism unable to function, grow and reproduce. (Sounds like germ warfare to me). The protection lasts throughout the life of the product. It is not a replacement for cleaning. It does not make the surface sterile. But it sure sounds like a wonderful thing as a shower surround if it can stop mold and mildew.

Microban® can be found in a variety of products:

Kitchen Sinks
Cutting Boards
Vacuum Cleaners
Surgical Curtains
Bath Tubs and Shower Surrounds
Baby Shopping Cart Covers (This is a great idea)
Keyboards (Since I am writing this on a keyboard and sit at a computer most of my days, I am going to look into this as a future upgrade).

Remember there is no substitute for good hygiene. But when you are shopping for new products you may want to consider if Microban® should be part of the equation.


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