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It is no secret that bacteria and other microbes are everywhere: On our skin, in the air, we breathe, and in almost every nook and cranny of our environment. While most of these microbes are harmless, some can cause severe illness or death. As a result, businesses must use antimicrobial equipment wherever possible to protect work environments, facilities, employees, and customers.

What Is Antimicrobial Equipment?

In recent years, there has been an increased focus on cleanliness and sterilization in businesses – particularly in the healthcare, hospitality, airline, and food and beverage industries. Consequently, antimicrobial equipment has become increasingly popular. Manufacturers design antimicrobial equipment to kill or prevent the growth of microorganisms. In particular, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoans.

To attain the desired level of resistance, companies use materials that are naturally resistant to microorganisms (such as stainless steel), silver ion coatings to prevent microorganisms from clinging to surfaces, or other bacteria-killing agents (such as UV light). In industries where linen, laundry, disposables, and food are being prepared or handled, it helps reduce the risk of cross-contamination and airborne illnesses. As the rise in viruses and pandemics continues, antimicrobial equipment will become mandatory to keep surfaces clean and free from harmful bacteria.

How Does Antimicrobial Equipment Work

Antimicrobial equipment uses heat, chemicals, or light to kill microorganisms. We protect our environment by creating inhospitable conditions for bacteria, mold spores, or mildew on everyday surfaces like textiles, hospital equipment, linen & utility carts, basket trucks, and other material handling products. Usually, manufacturers infuse a polymer into materials so that when someone touches it reduces the spread of any unwanted contaminants.

Industries typically use one of the three most common types of antimicrobial equipment. They are thermal disinfectors, chemicals, and ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) systems. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages. In addition, the idea that bacteria are susceptible to metal ions has been around for quite some time. According to a recent article, certain metals combat microbes and prevent them from growing in biofilms to combat infectious diseases. If you are considering antimicrobial equipment, several of these metals likely exist in the equipment’s structure.

Uses for Antimicrobial Equipment in Different Industries

Antimicrobial equipment has a variety of uses and can be used in any industry to protect products and consumers. No one wants to succumb to a virus or infection, so it makes sense to implement this equipment in every environment. Here are just a few examples of the many uses of antimicrobial equipment.

Food Preparation and Processing

Antimicrobial equipment is essential in the food preparation and processing industry. From cutting boards and utensils to storage containers and appliances, this type of equipment helps to ensure that food products are free of harmful contaminants. Any industry that prepares food for mass consumption, such as restaurants, catering services, and meat processing plants, utilizes preventive measures.

Healthcare Facilities

Hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities use antimicrobial equipment to protect patients from infection. Common examples include bedding and furniture upholstered with antimicrobial fabrics, door handles and light switches coated with antimicrobial paint, wire shelving, bulk linen trucks, medical hampers, and even antimicrobial flooring. By investing in materials that reduce cross-contamination, healthcare facilities can create a cleaner, safer environment for patients and staff.

Gyms and Fitness Centers

Gyms and fitness centers are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria and other microorganisms. Sweaty mats, free weights, exercise machines, towel bins, shower stalls, and many other items can harbor harmful contaminants that can cause illness or skin infections. Facilities of this nature invest in antimicrobial equipment and materials to protect patrons and keep the environment free from bacteria.

How To Choose the Right Type of Antimicrobial Equipment for Your Business

Pandemics and viral outbreaks have increased in recent years, making it more critical for businesses to have effective antimicrobial equipment on site. The first factor to consider when choosing antimicrobial equipment is your industry. Are you a hospital or other medical facility? A restaurant? A hotel? What products or services do you offer? Certain industries have specific requirements you must meet to comply with regulations.

Other factors to consider are the size and scope of your operation. If you have a small business with only a few employees, you may not need as much equipment as a large corporation with hundreds or thousands of employees. The size of your operation will also dictate how often you need to use the equipment. If you have a large facility with high volume, you’ll need commercial-grade equipment that can cover a wide area. Small businesses generally need less sophisticated equipment that is just as effective but will allow them to stay within their budget.

Whether you are a business owner in the food industry or a healthcare professional tasked with protecting patients from infection, investing in equipment that prevents cross-contamination is crucial to maintaining a safe and healthy environment. Choosing the right mix of products and equipment for your business doesn’t have to be confusing. Just consider the factors we’ve covered above. By taking the time to find the right antimicrobial coating technology now, you can help protect your business against microorganism outbreaks in the future.