NeoCon 2022: Don’t forget about walls and surfaces when protecting occupants from germs — see Behr’s antimicrobial paint

by Janet Stroud — June 15, 2022 — Behr Paint Company debuted its game-changing antimicrobial paint, Behr Copper Force Interior Paint, along with its curated Designer Collection of paint colors, at this week’s NeoCon 2022 commercial interiors show in Chicago.

Behr Copper Force Paint is an innovative interior coating EPA-registered to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria on the painted surface within two hours of exposure, while beautifying walls and other interior surfaces. Available in Eggshell and Semi-Gloss finishes, this paint & primer is designed to continuously protect against viruses and bacteria for up to six years as long as the integrity of the paint film is maintained.

NeoCon Behr Copper Force antimicrobial paintThe paint derives its antimicrobial potency from copper, which is one of the oldest, naturally occurring materials that is scientifically proven to provide antimicrobial properties. Behr Copper Force Paint is designed for use on hard, non-porous surfaces (properly prepared drywall, wood, concrete, masonry, metal, etc.) found in residential and commercial settings, transforming them into surfaces that work as part of a comprehensive infection control program/protocol.

EPA registration process

Behr Copper Force Paint received U.S. EPA registration on December 23, 2021. This means that the product has passed rigorous EPA test protocol conducted by third-party microbiology labs. As the EPA determined that Behr Copper Force Paint could be used without causing unreasonable adverse effects, and all claims were independently validated, the product and its labeling were assigned an EPA registration number: 32273-10.

Behr Copper Force antimicrobial paint features and benefits include:

  • EPA-registered virucidal & antibacterial paint: Kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria within two hours of contact on the painted surface and lasts for up to six years
  • Durable, long-lasting finish: Enables repeated cleaning
  • Excellent hide: Saves time and labor
  • Mildew-resistant paint finish: Provides effective protection against mildew growth on the dried paint film
  • Tintable to a wide range of colors: Expands color options (Due to the inherent properties of the paint formulation, clean and vibrant colors and some of the lightest off-white colors are not available to be tinted in this product.)
  • Paint & primer formula: Removes the step of using a separate primer on most surfaces
  • MPI-approved: Meets performance and environmental requirements of commercial specifications
  • Zero VOC (< 5 g/L, excluding colorants): Meets the most stringent VOC regulations nationwide

Behind the science

The antimicrobial properties of copper are well-known, notes Behr. For thousands of years, long before bacteria or viruses were discovered, people have known of this inorganic material’s disinfectant powers. Copper Force Paint is powered by Corning Incorporated’s Corning Guardiant particles, which harness the benefits of naturally occurring copper by stabilizing the most bioactive state of the metal (copper ions) in a glass matrix.

These encapsulated copper ions (Cu+) are steadily released from the painted surface, subsequently killing viruses and bacteria including enveloped viruses, gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, and non-enveloped viruses (in order of difficulty to kill) within two hours of contact on the painted surface.

The antimicrobial paint technology is effective for up to six years, according to EPA test protocol, as long as the integrity of the painted surface is maintained; it is one part of a comprehensive infection control and hygiene program. Periodic cleaning to remove dirt and stains is necessary for good sanitization and to assure the effective virucidal and antibacterial performance of the surface. Cleaning does not reduce the virucidal and antibacterial performance of the surface, says Behr.

Copper Force can be ideal for use in a wide variety of healthcare, education, hospitality, retail and office applications — wherever multiple people might touch the same wall surfaces and pass on germs.

For more information and explanatory videos about the Corning Guardiant antimicrobial technology and Behr Copper Force Interior Paint, visit the respective websites.