September 7, 2009
Monday Morning Quarterback
A new surface and furniture paint from Bretford Manufacturing that’s bad news for germs is great news for students and office workers who want to avoid getting sick.
Using what it calls Microbe Barrier Technologies, the company claims it is the first to offer multi-surface antimicrobial finishes on many of its products for learning and training environments. The new antimicrobial surface protection reduces the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew and fungi by 99.99 percent for the life of the product. Available for order now, the Bretford tables and carts with these finishes are intended to help prevent the spread of germs and contribute to the health and well-being of children and adults.
Director of Sales Chris Petrick said the company has been working on getting the antimicrobial finishes and tops on its products for the past six months. There are two different products at work killing the microbes. The first is an anti-microbial powder coat paint that has been in use in the medical industry for some time. The top surfaces are all new technology.
For microbes, the surfaces are a real killer. The squeamish might want to stop reading here. Here’s how it works: Bretford applies a coating to the surface that attracts the microbes to a “bed of nails” that pierces the cell membrane. The cell pops and dies.
Bretford does not make the cell-splitting surfaces, but the company does recognize the value for its customers. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 82 million students and staff are returning to K-12 and higher education environments in the United States this fall. “There is heightened concern about the spread of germs, especially this year with all the flu precautions,” said Mike Briggs, president of Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. “The time was right for us to do our part by providing an added line of defense against sickness-related germs in schools and offices.”
Research at the University of Arizona has found that classrooms are some of the most germ-filled public places. Teachers’ workspaces are more bacteria-laden than workspaces of other professions because of the constant contact with children. This research also showed that every 60 seconds, a working adult touches as many as 30 objects, and that surfaces play a role in the transmission of viruses and bacteria that cause illness. If these surfaces are not effectively cleaned, and then are touched by individuals, the transfer of diseasecausing microbes can begin, resulting in cross-contamination. Bretford offers the finishes on its most popular products. As more and more orders come in, the company plans on adding it to other products and on customs as well.