Is It For Real? Sherwin-Williams Develops a New Bacteria-Busting Paint to Fight E. Coli, Staph and Other Infections

Posted by Staff Reporter ( on Oct 30, 2015 07:58 AM EDT
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KHAN YOUNIS REFUGEE CAMP, GAZA STRIP - AUGUST 17: A Palestinian laborer paints the exterior of new houses being built with sponsorship by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) in the Khan Younis Refugee Camp August 17, 2003 in Gaza Strip. The new homes are for Palestinian refugee families who had their homes destroyed by Israeli troops.
(Photo : Abid Katib/Getty Images)

Lisa Davis shares at Realtor that  Sherwin-Williams, a company belonging to the general building materials industry, launched last Wednesday the Paint Shield, the "first EPA-registered paint that purportedly kills greater than 99.9 percent of Staph (Staphylococcus aureus), MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), E. coli (Escherichia coli), VRE (Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis), and Enterobacter aerogenes."

Gillian Mohney of ABC News adds that according to a statement issued by Sherwin-Williams, their new product "has passed rigorous EPA test protocol conducted by third party EPA inspected GLP labs."

The paint's ingredients include "quats" or quaternary ammonium compounds. According to Quats, the ingredient's "positive charge helps it adhere to the micro-organism while dissolving its cell walls." Steve Revnew, senior vice president of product innovation at Sherwin-Williams, says that while quats have been around for a long time, "this is the first time that [the] active ingredient has been able to be suspended in the paint." The company also claims that the extermination of the bacteria happens two hours after Paint Shield has been applied.

Home-owners need not worry as they won't be limited to hospital greens or yellows. Paint Shield will be available by early 2016 and it will come in 520 colors, to be sold at 4,000 stores that carry Sherwin-Williams products. Paint Shield can be applied at any standard latex product. It will be at $84.99 per gallon, a price which the paint giant says reflects the years of research and development, and their partnership with infectious-disease specialists and microbiologists, to come up with the right formula.

Dr. Anthony Harris, a professor of epidemiology and public health at the University of Maryland and head of the Society for Healthcare and Epidemiology of America, however, wants the paint tested in a real-world hospital setting before recommending the product.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2011 alone (the latest data available), 722,000 patients had acquired an infection while in the hospital, and of this number, 75,000 died during their hospitalizations.

"Obviously, hospital epidemiologists are interested in any way to decrease bacterial contamination in [a] person's room, as long as it's cost effective. These types of inventions are desperately prevent transmission [of resistant bacteria]. [But they] need to be tested in [a] real world setting before widespread adoption," says Harris. 

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