The Use of Biocides in Paint Products

The South African Paint Manufacturers Association (SAPMA) recently appealed to government to discount the inclusion of biocides as a listed ingredient in paint products, stating that listing ingredients that require extensive registration could result in disrupted paint production.

What exactly are biocides, and why are they making waves?

Used in water based paints, they are used to preserve paint, and are highly regulated in many parts of the world. An important thing to note is that not all biocides are dangerous or toxic. Those that contain Diuron and/or Carbendizim as active ingredients are proven to cause eco-toxicity, while others are safe for use. These types have been banned in Europe, but are still used in other areas – including South Africa. Companies such as Wilcote, who wish to ensure that their products meet European standards, need to spend extra costs to utilise non-harmful biocides that help paint maintain a longer shelf-life without causing undue risk to the environment. Products that we use that contain only non-toxic biocides include ROCIMA 101 technical disinfectant, and ROCIMA 350 – an eco-friendly dry film biocide. Both of these products have the advantage of added protection against fungi and mould, without the risk of toxins.

How Are Biocides Used in Paints?

Roughly 80% of water-based paints produced in South Africa use some type of biocides to ensure a longer shelf life. Another name for paint that includes biocidal ingredients is anti-fouling paint. Biocides are commonly used all over the world to prevent biological deterioration in both wet and dry paint.

There are different types of biocides – “in-can” types that protect paint itself as well as the ingredients from going off or decaying; plus a “dry film acticide” that protects the painted surface from fungi and algae growth, particularly in damp areas and warm coastal areas.

Why Are Certain Paint Biocides Considered Dangerous?

Biological poisons by nature are dangerous to various life forms – both microscopic and visible to the naked eye. A great deal of care is needed during the handling of such products, with special protective clothing and tools needed during production. Disposal of this type of paint is even more risky, with marine ecosystems paying the highest price for the use of toxic ingredients in such products.

Because we fully support the use of environmentally friendly paint products and painting services, Wilcote is committed to providing customers with quality paint products that can always be trusted.


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