TouchPoint Science develops new Antimicrobial Tape called SaferTape.™
What is antimicrobial tape? Antimicrobial tape is an easy to apply product made of a thin adhesive film. The tape is much like packing tape, but with embedded, EPA registered antimicrobials. Optimized antimicrobials are added to protect the tape from the growth of bacteria, or other microorganisms that may degrade it. These organisms are deposited on surfaces that people routinely touch. These surfaces are called ‘fomites‘ in the world of microbiology. Fomites are inanimate objects (in this case surfaces) that allow organisms to grow. For example, bacteria and other organisms can grow on surfaces such as door handles, door knobs, railings, touchscreens, kiosks, ATM machines, and any other surface that is routinely touched by people. Antimicrobial tape can be used on these touchpoints to reduce the number of organisms growing on the surface, thus helping to keep the tape cleaner.
In today’s world during our pandemic with the Covid-19 virus, people have avoided returning to ‘normal’ despite safety precautions and protocols. Ongoing fear of touching surfaces has escalated, opposite the facts produced by the CDC and leading scientific experts. Due to this, many businesses are struggling to encourage people to return to work, or normal life for fear of exposure. SaferTape antimicrobial tape is designed to cover surfaces and antimicrobials are incorporated to protect the film from growing microbes. In addition, the tape can help to reduce ‘touch anxiety’ associated with contact.
What organisms does the tape control?
This depends on the chemistry employed in the antimicrobial tapes themselves. We see quite a few ‘antimicrobial tapes’ in the marketplace that simply do not work based on our lab evaluations. It’s important to understand the chemistry of the compounds used, correct concentrations, availability of the actives at the surface, and the target organisms against which they should be effective. Also, antimicrobials used in any antimicrobial tape or film are there to help protect the film from contamination. They are not intended to, nor do they replace personal hygiene practices such as hand washing.
In general, antimicrobial tapes should control a wide variety of organisms on the surface. Specifically however, common skin organisms such as Staphylococcus aureus or S. epidermidis should be evaluated in any laboratory experiments. They’re important because they make up the common flora associated with human touch (skin). Testing against irrelevant organisms or simply using standard test organisms does not provide an appropriate challenge, and may create data that makes the film appear more effective than it is.
In addition, the antimicrobials should be able to provide at least a 5 log reduction. For example, a “5-log reduction” means lowering the number of microorganisms by 100,000-fold, that is, if a surface has 100,000 growing microbes on it, a 5-log reduction would reduce the number of microorganisms to single cells. This is commonly expressed as a percent reduction. As a consumer, you may have seen this expressed by many disinfectant companies on their products in terms of achieving a 99.999% reduction, which is considered effective.
Where can I use SaferTape™?
Our SaferTape antimicrobial tape can be used on any surface requiring protection from the growth of microorganisms. The tape is flexible enough to put on irregular surfaces, and is easily applied just like normal household tape. It is removed just as easily and leaves no residue. We recommend using SaferTape on door handles, knobs, levers, pull handles and other surfaces requiring protection. The tape will conform nicely to the surfaces. Be sure to leave no gaps when wrapping the tape to avoid unmasked surfaces.
How long does the antimicrobial tape last?
The chemistries used in the antimicrobial tape or film are designed to protect the film for it’s whole usable life. This of course depends on exposure, use and repeated loading of the surface by bacteria and other organisms. In general, we recommend replacing the tape every 6 months at a minimum. You may find you’ll want to replace more often however, depending on your application.
Please contact our technical staff if you have any questions regarding Safertape™ or any antimicrobial surface products from TouchPoint Science. Call us at (470) 300-9804 or use the convenient form below.