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New Paint Shows Germ-Fighting Potential

It may thwart hospital 'superbugs,' viruses and mold, scientists say

SATURDAY, 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.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about antibiotic resistance.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Chemical Society, news release

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