May 9 (HealthDay News) -- A new antimicrobial paint kills disease-causing bacteria, mold, fungi and viruses, said the U.S. scientists who created the product.
They claim their paint, which can be used in homes, businesses and health-care settings, shows special promise for fighting so-called "superbugs," antibiotic-resistant microbes that are found in hospitals and cause about 88,000 deaths each year in the United States.
The paint contains a new antimicrobial polymer with a type of N-halamine, a bleach-like substance that kills germs. The polymer has no negative effects on the quality of latex paints. Tests showed that it kills a wide range of disease-causing microbes, including those that are resistant to multiple antibiotics, Yuyu Sun and Zhengbing Cao, the South Dakota-based researchers who developed the paint, said in a news release.
The scientists added that the paint retains its antimicrobial properties for extended periods and is easily "recharged" using a simple chlorination process.
The study appears in the current issue of Materials & Interfaces.
SOURCE: American Chemical Society, news release