Thursday, April 16, 2020

Antivirus Paint May Have Potential to Help Protect Cruise and Merchant Ships from Covid-19

Designed for Hospital Use US Chinese Product Could Provide Wider Protection
Shipping News Feature

CHINA – US – WORLDWIDE – On March 1, just as the virus was making itself known to the outside world Nippon Paint China and US chemical group Corning donated 5 million RMB worth of Nippon Paint Antivirus Paint, at that time only produced for frontline hospital use and not available in the market, to four Covid-19 designated hospitals in Hubei, China. Now people are waking up to the fact that the product may have uses far beyond such sterile environments.

Nippon Paint's Antivirus Kids Paint incorporates Corning Guardiant™ antimicrobial particles, originally intended to protect paint formulations only from deterioration caused by mould, mildew and bacteria and not intended to impart protection to treated surfaces. Now, used in the antivirus paint, it is described as a nascent technology designed to safeguard against viruses from adhering to hospital surfaces.

With some experts estimating that, in the right conditions, viruses can remain viable on some surfaces for several days, if the product is indeed effective against Covid-19, the potential for use throughout industry generally, including maritime and other modal applications in the current circumstances is blatantly obvious.

The product was tested by Microchem Laboratory in the US in January 2020, with results showing that the coating inactivates over 99.9% of the Feline Calicivirus. Feline Calicivirus has been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a suitable replacement for detecting human norovirus. While the coating was developed specifically for hospitals and healthcare environments, Dimitris Dalakouras, Managing Director, Conbulk Ship Management Corporation commented:

“With the safety of crew members being our prime concern, the coating could eventually find application across the maritime industry. Hospital ships are an obvious beneficiary, but the coating could also be used to protect surfaces in cruise ships, passenger ferries as well as other types of commercial vessels.”

The new coating also kills harmful bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Eric Chung, president of Nippon Paint, China commented as that first shipment was deployed:

"The coronavirus outbreak has prompted us once again to be highly innovative, and we are happy to work jointly with Corning at this particular time to complete the development, tests and production of the antivirus coating. We hope this will give frontline healthcare professionals valuable support as they fight the virus."

Photo: Part of the delivery to Hubei in March.