SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Milliken Chemical has received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its silver-based antimicrobial product, Antimicrobial AlphaSan®, for use in HVAC equipment and related materials. The product had previously received regulatory approval for use in polymeric food and drinking water contact materials.

AlphaSan, developed to inhibit the growth of bacteria and mold, now has the necessary regulatory approvals to allow its use in resins, fibers, and plastic articles for applications such as air handlers, coils, fins, insulation, rigid or flexible ducts, filters, heat exchangers, and air purifiers, says the company. It can also be incorporated into articles used in the assembly of HVAC systems, such as gaskets, fixtures, sealants, adhesives, reinforcing materials, and parts. According to the company, the antimicrobial product is already used extensively in food contact and drinking water contact applications, textiles, and medical devices.

Antimicrobial AlphaSan is based on silver, a well-known antimicrobial agent that has been historically regarded as safe, the company says. When incorporated into resins, silver has been shown to control microbial growth and biofilm formation on surfaces without significant migration from the plastic.

The silver ions in AlphaSan are contained within a zirconium phosphate complex that acts as an ion exchange reservoir. The silver ions are released at a controlled rate at the surface, avoiding the color formation seen with previous silver-based products, says the company.

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Publication date: 03/24/2003