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How a ‘fresh coat of paint’ is used to establish a clean and safe environment in the health sector

When you’re in the throes of taking a loved one to the doctor or hospital, your focus isn’t on what paint has been used in the waiting area, hallways, and rooms.

We’ve put the health and medical industry under the microscope and discovered that there are certain types of paint that need to be used to maintain optimum health. Not only do hospitals and medical centres need to uphold their key functions, but in fact, paint plays a crucial role in the health and well-being of staff and patients.

To prohibit the growth of very harmful bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and Golden Staph as well as mould, a paint with Microban technology could be used.

Benefits of Microban technology

  1. Keeps painted surfaces cleaner and fresher for longer: built-in antimicrobial protection actively inhibits microbial growth that can cause stains, odours, and premature degradation on painted surfaces.

  2. Has an extended shelf-life: antimicrobial technology has been proven to prolong the life cycle of paint products. The efficacy against bacteria and mould helps to minimise the risk of premature product degradation, ensuring the paint remains usable for longer.

  3. Complements normal cleaning practices: Microban technology keeps painted surfaces cleaner in between regular cleaning.

  4. Delivers greater peace of mind: an added level of surface protection helps to alleviate cleanliness anxieties - leaving you to worry less about microbes and focus more on the job at hand.

While all hospitals endeavour to establish a clean and safe environment for patients, the walls that surround those patients can be forgotten about and neglected.

Healthcare workers are aware that hospital walls can pose a potential risk, so being extra vigilant about hand hygiene and ensuring periodic cleaning of walls, can all help to contribute to a more hygienic environment. However, painting with antimicrobial paint is by far the easiest and quickest way to prevent the growth of bacteria, mould and fungi on your walls.

What are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)?

Generally, paint covers approximately 80 per cent of a building’s surfaces. These paints have a variety of ingredients, some of which are more benign than others. Possibly the most harmful chemicals found in paints are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are carbon-containing solvents that vaporise into the air readily as paint dries.

VOCs easily evaporate at room temperature. Many common cleaning products also give off VOCs.

These VOCs help make paint easier to spread as well as more durable but can often have a negative effect on a person’s health. Some exposure to such products can cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea, while higher exposure levels can have more serious consequences, such as kidney damage and even cancer.

However, these problems can be avoided or at least minimised by specifying low or zero-VOC paints. These paints usually emit less odours and offer faster drying times and non-yellowing properties.

Benefits of using Low VOC products

  1. Painting with Low and Very Low VOC products gives less fumes, less indoor pollution and less harm to health and the environment.

  2. Low VOC and hence low odour increase efficiency as the painted room can be entered and used sooner.

As patients can often spend long periods in the hospital, it’s incredibly important to also ensure that the air quality is always kept at a high level.

The Sensitive Choice® brand is a not-for-profit program developed by the National Asthma Council Australia in 2006 to inform the public about asthma and allergy management. The Sensitive Choice initiative helps more people with asthma and allergies to identify products and services that may be better for them.

Ranges that are part of the Sensitive Choice program have been rigorously assessed and approved by an independent advisory panel of experts. They ensure that the products do no harm and offer relative benefits to people with asthma or allergies. Products approved by Sensitive Choice® must be durable, low VOC, and resist mould and mildew.

Paint Place offers a variety of brands that are Eco-friendly and have low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Using ranges with low VOC means that air pollutants in the coatings have been reduced to create a better interior space while painting. Low VOC contents assist architects and builders in building green and therefore benefiting the health and wellbeing of patients and staff in the long term.

Happy and healthy painting!


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