Alex Baker, Head of Operations at electrical wholesaler ERF, discusses the different types of antimicrobial products on the market, and how they help to stop the build-up of bacteria and viruses:
Taking measures to protect the NHS from becoming overwhelmed has never been more important than it is today during the coronavirus crisis.
As lockdown restrictions begin to ease over the coming months, reducing the spread of all diseases, infections and viruses must therefore continue to be a top priority for all of us.
Whether it be through social distancing or simply maintaining good hand hygiene, there are a number of ways we can all play our part in keeping everybody safe.
A slightly lesser known but extremely effective way of doing this is to invest in antimicrobial products which prevent viruses and bacteria building up on commonly touched surfaces including light switches and sockets.
In fact, when we first entered lockdown in March last year there was a 203 per cent surge in people searching for ‘antimicrobial products’ compared to the month before. Although searches have steadily levelled off, the demand for these products has remained high.
How do antimicrobial products work?
Antimicrobial products kill or slow the spread of viruses, diseases and bacteria. They work at a cellular level to continually disrupt and prevent the growth of microorganisms. By creating an inhospitable environment for bacteria and viruses, antimicrobials form a protection around surfaces people regularly touch.
Limiting the spread of viruses
As many settings prepare to welcome a greater number of visitors over the coming months, businesses will be exploring ways in which they can reduce the risk of virus transmission and implement additional safety measures. While it is not yet fully known how successfully antimicrobial products can kill coronavirus, what is apparent is that they will certainly help to reduce the spread of a whole host of other bacteria and viruses. For example, kill rates of 99.9% have been achieved across four types of the strains of bacteria MRSA, E-Coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella, Pneumonia and enveloped viruses – offering a high protection level to those who touch the surface.
Antimicrobial sockets and switches
Although there are a wide variety of antimicrobial products now available, sockets and switches remain two of the most popular. Being two commonly touched surfaces their effectiveness cannot be understated either. Antimicrobial sockets and switches are made from treated plastic that contains silver ions which act as a barrier stopping microorganisms from growing and spreading. The protection they provide is inbuilt rather than coming from an additional coating over the original materials.
Are antimicrobial products a necessary investment?
While it is tempting to place a heavy reliance on the Covid-19 vaccine to protect all of us, it is worth remembering as we begin to socialise more the risk of other viruses and diseases spreading will only increase. Post-lockdown, people will be more selective about the settings they visit and take greater consideration to the safety measures venues have in place. Installing antimicrobial products is therefore a sure way to demonstrate that you are taking every precaution necessary to keep people safe on your site and are committed to protecting as many people as possible.