The paint and coatings industry around the world continues to support the safe use of an essential raw material for waterborne decorative paint formulations. Known as preservatives, these antimicrobial additives or biocides are necessary for controlling the growth of unwanted micro-organisms in waterborne paint. These products have achieved great consumer acceptance over the last 60 years, owing to their ease of application and clean-up, and overall product performance. Microbes are harmful and are the agents causing many infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and pneumonia. Mold can trigger respiratory infections and allergies if allowed to grow in our homes and workplaces. It is critical that regulatory agencies around the world understand the essential nature of these products as part of their ongoing effort to evaluate and respond to any new, or emerging health, safety and environmental information. In Canada this function rests with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), under the federal department of Health Canada, which seeks to align regulations with the US-EPA given that a large quantity of raw materials are imported into Canada daily for use in paint and coatings products. Without preservatives product life is greatly reduced and recycling of leftover paint would become impossible in the context of a circular economy approach.
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