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Metal Nanoparticles Useful For Control Mold Growth On Paints And Coatings

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Heavy mold growth often occurs in wet indoor environments such as walls, floors, ceilings, drywalls and wood. Controlling indoor water is critical to controlling indoor mold growth. However, the use of anti- fungal agents in paints and coatings offers another good way to control indoor mold growth. 

Some paints containing copper or zinc have shown anti-fungal properties. Nanoparticles are particles smaller than about 100 nanometers. Nanoparticles have been shown to have potent antifungal properties.

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Nanoparticles that have been developed for paints and coatings include silver, copper and zinc-oxide nanoparticles. A British Columbia study recently reported that a mixture of 60 parts per million (ug/ml) of a mixture of nanoparticles containing zinc oxide, aluminum, copper, silver, and titanium effectively inhibited fungal growth of the 2 common indoor mycotoxin producing molds Aspergillus fumigatus and flavus (Auyeung, Casillas-Santana et al. 2017). Exposure to this metal nanoparticle mixture did not produce a cytotoxic or inflammatory response in human monocyte cells.

This suggests that exposure to this low level of metal nanoparticles is probably not very toxic to humans. Use of low levels of these metal nanoparticles offers promise in producing anti-mold paints and coating with relatively little toxicity to humans. 


References / Sources

Auyeung, A., et al. (2017). “Effective Control of Molds Using a Combination of Nanoparticles.” PLOS ONE 12(1): e0169940.



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