Nippon Paint Marine reports that its parent, Nippon Paint, and Corning Inc. have developed a special coating to protect workers from picking up viruses from painted surfaces. Though developed specifically for frontline hospitals, the paint could well find maritime applications .

The coating, Nippon Paint’s Antivirus Kids Paint, incorporates Corning Guardiant Antimicrobial Particles – a nascent technology designed to safeguard against viruses from adhering to hospital surfaces.

The paint was tested by Microchem Laboratory in the U.S. in January 2020, with results showing that the coating inactivates over 99.9% of the feline calicivirus. Feline calicivirus has been approved by the U.S. EPA as a suitable replacement for detecting human norovirus.

The new coating also kills harmful bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Nippon Paint and Corning Inc have donated RMB 5 million (about $708,000) worth of Nippon Paint Antivirus Kids Paint to four hospitals in China’s Hubei Province.

Eric Chung, president of Nippon Paint, China said: “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.”

Dr Joydeep Lahiri, division vice president and program director, Specialty Surfaces, Corning Incorporated, said: “We believe the paint created by Nippon Paint using Corning Guardiant™ Antimicrobial Particles can offer an additional layer of protection by reducing the risk of infection from viruses on the painted surfaces of hospitals and medical centres.”

While the coating was developed specifically for hospitals and healthcare environments Nippon Paint Marine quotes Dimitris Dalakouras, Managing Director, Conbulk Ship Management Corporation, as saying: “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.”

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