April 28, 2021

Microban shines a light on the cracks in TiO2

More and more interest has arisen in recent years regarding the use of titanium dioxide (TiO2) as an antimicrobial additive in ceramics. A report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer1 recently classified TiO2 as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’ by inhalation and similarly, the European Chemicals Agency2 recommended TiO2 be classified as a category 2 carcinogen (suspected of causing cancer). The manufacturing and installation of ceramic tiles typically generate copious amounts of dust, which is easily inhaled, during the cutting process, so adding TiO2 could expose consumers, tilers and manufacturers to potentially harmful levels. The use of TiO2 as an antimicrobial also relies heavily on the constant formation of potentially damaging free radicals for the finished tiles to function against microbes, and the extent of their potential toxicity to humans is still unknown.


In contrast, antimicrobial technologies from Microban International are based on SilverShield®, the first patented antimicrobial solution for ceramic products, which is far safer and superior, posing no additional risk of exposure to potentially carcinogenic compounds and harmful free radicals during tile installation. In addition, unlike TiO2, these chemistries do not need light to activate their protective action. The built-in formulations can be seamlessly added to the glaze chemistry during the manufacturing process, requiring no additional steps or limits to firing temperatures. They are suitable for gloss and matte finishes of any colour, and result in tiles that are durable, functional and aesthetically pleasing, as well as protective, fighting the growth of microbes 24/7. Microban silver-based antimicrobial ceramic technologies are US EPA registered and EU BPR notified, providing consumers with safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly tiles that offer cleaner, fresher, and better protected living spaces without compromising on look or quality.


Microban has already partnered with several leading ceramics manufacturers to provide built-in silver based antimicrobial ceramic technologies that are safe, and work both outside and in, irrespective of UV light levels.


Giorgio Rimini, Managing Director EMEA at Microban International, added: “With our partners on board, we have been able to combine our collective knowledge to equip homes and places of business with antimicrobial tiles that are simultaneously protective and stunning!”


To explore the safety concerns related to the use of TiO2 in indoor ceramic applications, read the latest article from Dr. Ivan Ong, Vice President of Research and Development, and Tara Conley, Director of Regulatory Affairs at Microban International, at https://bit.ly/3ewyFSv.

  1. https://monographs.iarc.who.int/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/TR42-Full.pdf
  2. https://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/594bf0e6-8789-4499-b9ba-59752f4eafab


About Microban International

Part of Barr Brands International (BBI), Microban International is a global specialist in antimicrobial, odor control, smart surface and disinfection technologies. Our proactive systems keep products cleaner, and control odors better by preventing problems before they start. Microban drives innovation by combining science and creative solutions that enhance high-quality consumer, textile, industrial and medical products around the world. Today the Microban brand and technologies are featured on thousands of products worldwide. The company is headquartered in North Carolina with operations in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information, please visit www.microban.com.

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