Microbes can affect the aesthetic and physical properties of a plastic by causing odor, discoloration, and polymer degradation. Antimicrobial Compounds can be used to preserve plastic by preventing or limiting the growth of microbes.
Inorganic antimicrobials possess high heat stability (over 500°C or 932°F), reduce the risk of developing resistant strains of microbes, and provide long-lasting effectiveness. Silver, used for centuries as an antimicrobial, is widely recognized as safe. As a result, inorganic, silver-based antimicrobials are an attractive option for the food processing and medical industries.
Antimicrobial additives are available which are compliant with guidelines established by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and/or National Sanitation Foundation (NSF).