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MarChem introduces Environmentally Friendly,
Antimicrobial Urethane Products

Saint Louis, MO 09/23/09 - MarChem introduces low VOC, environmentally sensitive urethane products incorporating built in antimicrobial properties. The proprietary antimicrobial additive chemistry is available in a wide range of MarChem polyurethane materials and is of particular interest in flooring and surfacing products where its low VOC's (volatile organic compounds) and ability to utilize recycled materials such as tire crumb are key components of LEED certification programs. These products are designed for service in areas with high public use, such as

  • Playground surfaces
  • Athletic flooring
  • Fitness centers
  • Locker room flooring
  • Day care areas
  • Veterinary areas
  • Health care facilities
  • Pet and agricultural areas
  • Food service areas
that present a significant potential for growth of  microbes in the form of bacteria, fungi, and mold. This is a result of a combination of traffic, moisture, temperature, and availability of nutrients to support microbial growth. Microbial growth can result in compromised indoor air quality, odors, staining, and deterioration of the physical properties of effected materials.

A groundbreaking research project by MarChem, RB Rubber, and the Saint Louis University Dept. of Biology was undertaken to identify the specific types of microbes and bacteria present on public flooring surfaces in playgrounds, fitness centers, and athletic facilities.

A variety of antimicrobial chemistries were evaluated to optimize their effectiveness against the target species as well as methods of incorporation of the antimicrobial ingredients in the final product.

Due to the nature of the product application, the antimicrobial chemistry was required to be not only effective, but exhibit low VOC content, be environmentally sensitive, and exhibit extremely low potential for toxicity to humans and animals.

The results of this study:
 “Assessing The Effectiveness of Antimicrobial Agents Infused in Polyurethane Composite Rubber Flooring Products in the Control of Bacterial Pathogens" were presented at Polyurethanes 2009 Technical Conference on October 6, 2009.

The antimicrobial technology developed during this study has been adapted for use in a wide variety of MarChem polyurethane products. This technology is based on the incorporation of EPA and FDA registered antimicrobial agents in accordance with the “treated article or substance” standard set forth in 40 CFR 152.25(a) to inhibit the growth and proliferation of bacteria, fungi, and mold. This technology is not intended to protect users or others against bacteria, viruses, germs, or other disease causing organisms.

Products available with antimicrobial additives include those used for:

  • Playground surfaces (pour-in-place and tiles)
  • Athletic surface coatings, substrates, and underlayment
  • Gym flooring
  • Fitness flooring
  • Food service area flooring
  • Veterinary and pet care facilities and products
  • Urethane molding materials
  • Urethane adhesives and sealants

For specific product availability and pricing, please contact your MarChem representative or visit our web site at


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