How do you protect against viruses?

Neil McSporran, global portfolio manager at the NSG Group, explains how a new antimicrobial glass, Pilkington SaniTise, can help to reduce the spread of infections.

Last year, in response to the pandemic, our UK R&D team ramped up its research into antibacterial glass coatings, and in November, following months of testing and research, we launched Pilkington SaniTise.

The antimicrobial coating enables the breakdown of enveloped viruses, bacteria and fungi on its surface, and is activated when exposed to UV radiation from natural daylight or artificial UV irradiation devices.

It does this by working in two stages: firstly, it reacts with water vapour within the air in a photocatalytic process that produces reactive oxygen species; and secondly, these reactive oxygen species enable the breakdown of organic species, helping provide antimicrobial properties and activity against enveloped viruses on the glass surface.

As a result, the glass will have less viral load on its surface compared to standard glass. In turn, this reduces the chance of fomite transmission, where a person becomes infected by picking up a virus living on a surface, like a door or window.

Pilkington SaniTise obtained third party verification after being tested to ISO 21702:2019, a measurement of antiviral activity on plastics and other non-porous surfaces.

A number of leading UK universities have also tested the coating against viruses and bacteria, and the product even won Design of the Year at British Glass’s Glass Focus 2020 awards in November.

Covid has shown just how fast infectious diseases can spread in the modern world. Our antimicrobial glass can help to reduce the chance of infection contact transmission in higher risk settings like hospitals, schools, GP surgeries, restaurants, transport hubs, etc.

Infection prevention and control measures have jumped up the list of priorities for architects’ and building managers’ clients, and delivering projects that adhere to such criteria is no longer just the domain of healthcare building design specialists.