NEW YORK (November 1, 2015) — Sherwin-Williams wants to paint a cleaner picture of hospitals.
The company created a paint that it claims will kill bacteria — a major cause of healthcare-associated infections in hospitals. Among the targeted bacteria are Staph, MRSA, E. coli, VRE, and Enterobacter aerogenes.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC say that “on any given day” about one in 25 patients contracts at least one healthcare-associated infection during their hospital stay.
Not only are such infections a major cause of hospital deaths, but they are also extremely costly. Based on CDC data from 2009, healthcare-associated infections cost U.S. hospitals between $28 billion and $45 billion a year in direct medical costs.
“Paint Shield” claims to kill over 99.9% of these bacteria after they’ve been on a painted surface for two hours. It also reduces the growth of “common microbes.”
“[It’s] one of the most significant technological breakthroughs in our nearly 150 year history of innovation,” Sherwin-Williams executive Chris Connor said. “By killing infectious pathogens on painted surfaces, Paint Shield is a game-changing advancement in coatings technology.”
Dr. L. Clifford McDonald of the CDC said that eliminating healthcare-associated infections is “a top priority” as they are “very serious threats to patient safety.”
However, he cautioned that it’s difficult to determine the impact of any one cleaning or disinfecting agent. For a product to be deemed effective, it must meet several criteria and must undergo testing in both laboratory and healthcare settings.
The interior paint will come in 590 colors and will be available in the U.S. in 2016. According to a statement from Sherwin-Williams, the paint can be used on “hard, non-porous ceilings, walls, doors, and trim,” and is effective for up to four years.
The paint company suggests the paint can also be used in gyms, day care centers, schools, assisted living environments, hotels, cruise ships and homes.