• Powered by

19 Oct 2023

Antimicrobial : Myths and Reality

BEWARE of misleading claims around “antimicrobial” and hygiene for solid surfaces

Confusing messages around hygiene and solid surfaces can create a false sense of safety, lowering the required attention to cleaning and disinfection practices.

Keep an eye out for creative language – especially when it comes to products claiming to be “antimicrobial.”

Users will always choose a product if it improves health or safety, but how do we know the claims being made on the label are accurate?

We have reviewed the fine print of several leading solid surface products and found many examples of misleading or vague claims about the effectiveness of antimicrobial technology.

Invalid claims

Some companies claim their products are antimicrobial due to specific photocatalytic properties. To validate the antimicrobial claims, we asked several independent labs to use the same industry standard ISO testing protocols to perform the tests that companies used to substantiate these claims. Out of 15 tests, ZERO labs were able to detect any meaningful level of antimicrobial response.

BOTTOM LINE: These claims do not reflect real-world conditions, and they can encourage complacency regarding regular surface cleaning habits.

Equal effectiveness

Some producers of solid surfaces describe their products having antiviral activity and claim that the infectious capacity of a coronavirus (but not the one that causes COVID-19) is reduced by approx. 80% after 24 hours. This is not a meaningful reduction. Data published by the same producers show that, after 48 hours, their solid surfaces and a control sample reach the same level of reduction. Viruses simply die over time from a lack of a host and food source.

BOTTOM LINE: Regular cleaning with a household disinfectant can kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria in less than 10 minutes. Any killing action that is slower or less effective should be dealt with scepticism.

Check the fine print

Some materials claim antimicrobial performance. Antimicrobial is a term used very widely and it refers to ‘any product that prevents the growth of/reduces the number of/mitigates the growth of microorganisms’. ‘Microorganisms’ include bacteria, fungi and viruses that depending on type may or may not cause disease (infection). Therefore, under this definition, ‘microorganisms’ also include all the bacteria and virus that might not be disease-causing.

In Europe, anti-bacterial claims require compliance with the Biocidal Product Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 (the BPR) to ensure that the material contains an active antimicrobial substance.
Only when reading the fine print, it can be seen that some materials state the technology protects the product itself against stain and odour-causing bacteria. But the product does not protect users or others from disease-causing bacteria.

BOTTOM LINE: These top-level antimicrobial claims can confuse users about what the products
can actually achieve.

Creative labelling

Some companies are creative to avoid the applicable regulations like BPR by inventing alternative terms to “antimicrobial.” They use terms like “ultra-hygienic.” Because it doesn’t refer to “antimicrobial,” the product is not subject to rigorous testing requirements to prove the claims.

BOTTOM LINE: Buyers and specifiers should be aware that even products that don’t claim to be antimicrobial could be using a “creative” language to avoid rigorous testing and regulatory oversight.



BOTTOM LINE: Corian® Solid Surface paired with regular cleaning and disinfecting, is the best way to eliminate bacteria and viruses from a surface.

Corian® Solid Surface has a nonporous surface that prevents dirt and stains from penetrating the material. Marks and stains stay on the surface and can easily be removed. The seamless look of integrated Corian® Solid Surface countertops, sinks, and coved backsplashes means there are no crevices to trap and grow mould, germs and viruses. This simplifies cleaning, sanitising and routine maintenance. As a low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) material, Corian® Solid Surface is free from dangerous chemicals and hence contributes to a better Indoor Air Quality and has obtained a Greenguard Gold certification.




This information is based on technical data that DuPont de Nemours Inc. and its affiliates (“DuPont”) believe to be reliable, and is intended for use by persons having technical skill and at their own discretion and risk. DuPont cannot and does not warrant that this information is absolutely current or accurate, although every effort is made to ensure that it is kept as current and accurate as possible. Because conditions of use are outside DuPont’s control, DuPont makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information, or any part thereof, including any warranties of title, non-infringement of copyright or patent rights of others, merchantability, or fitness or suitability for any purpose and assumes no liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information. This information should not be relied upon to create specifications, designs, or installation guidelines. The persons responsible for the use and handling of the product are responsible for ensuring the design, fabrication, or installation methods and process present no health or safety hazards. Do not attempt to perform specification, design, fabrication, or installation work without proper training or without the proper personal protection equipment. Nothing herein is to be taken as a license to operate under or a recommendation to infringe any patents. DuPont shall have no liability for the use of or results obtained from such information, whether or not based on DuPont’s negligence. DuPont shall not be liable for (i) any damages, including claims relating to the specification, design, fabrication, installation, or combination of this product with any other product(s), and (ii) special, direct, indirect or consequential damages. DuPont reserves the right to make changes to this information and to this disclaimer. DuPont encourages you to review this information and this disclaimer periodically for any updates or changes. Your continued access or use of this information shall be deemed your acceptance of this disclaimer and any changes and the reasonableness of these standards for notice of changes.