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  4. > Antimicrobial fibres, fabrics and apparel: innovative weapons against infection

The demand for antimicrobial fibres, fabrics and apparel has increased sharply since the mid-1990s due to growing awareness among consumers of the importance of personal hygiene and the health risks posed by certain microorganisms. As a result, there is a new generation of antimicrobial products on the market which offer protection against a broad spectrum of bacteria and can withstand up to 100 launderings. However, the increase in usage of such products has caused concern among environmental groups who claim that some antimicrobial agents -- notably silver nanoparticles and triclosan -- are toxic and should be banned from use in consumer products. Amid these concerns, researchers and scientists are stepping up their efforts to develop effective and durable antimicrobial products which are less likely to be harmful to human health and the environment.

This report provides a wealth of information, insight and analysis on: the market for antimicrobial fibres, fabrics and apparel; microorganisms and their effects; techniques for preventing the proliferation of microorganisms in apparel; antimicrobials for textile and apparel applications; and methods of imparting antimicrobial properties to fabrics. It also includes information on antimicrobial efficacy testing and regulations, and safety and environmental issues associated with antimicrobial agents. Furthermore, the report provides insight into the applications of antimicrobial agents in apparel, recent developments in antimicrobial treatments, key producers of antimicrobial agents and treatments, and key producers of antimicrobial fibres and fabrics, as well as an outlook for the future.

Table Of Contents

Antimicrobial fibres, fabrics and apparel: innovative weapons against infection
List of contents
SUMMARY
INTRODUCTION
MARKETS FOR ANTIMICROBIAL FIBRES AND FABRICS
MICROORGANISMS AND THEIR EFFECTS
Effects of microorganisms on fabrics
Effects of microorganisms on humans
TECHNIQUES FOR PREVENTING THE PROLIFERATION OF
MICROORGANISMS IN APPAREL
Laundering
Choosing appropriate fabrics
Incorporating antimicrobial agents
TYPES OF ANTIMICROBIAL AGENTS FOR TEXTILE AND APPAREL
APPLICATIONS
Organic antimicrobial agents
Triclosan
Polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB)
Quaternary ammonium compounds
Inorganic antimicrobial agents
Metals
Natural antimicrobial compounds
Chitosan
Plant extracts
METHODS OF IMPARTING ANTIMICROBIAL PROPERTIES TO
FABRICS
ANTIMICROBIAL EFFICACY TESTING AND REGULATIONS
Efficacy testing
Regulations
SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH
ANTIMICROBIAL AGENTS
APPLICATIONS OF ANTIMICROBIAL AGENTS IN APPAREL
Consumer apparel
Medical garments
Protective apparel for food and beverage processing
KEY ANTIMICROBIAL AGENTS AND TREATMENTS AND THEIR
PRODUCERS
Allied Feather and Down: Allied Refined down
Cupron: Cupron Enhanced
Dow Chemical Company: Silvadur
HaloSource: HaloShield
HeiQ Materials: Pure
Lonza: Purista
Microban International: Microban
Milliken: AlphaSan
Polygiene: Polygiene
Quick-Med Technologies: Stay Fresh
Sanitized: Sanitized
Sciessent: Agion Active
Thomson Research Associates: Silpure
KEY ANTIMICROBIAL FIBRES AND FABRICS AND THEIR
PRODUCERS
Nylstar: Meryl Skinlife
NanoHorizons: SmartSilver
Noble Biomaterials: X-static
PurThread Technologies: Sabiya
Rhovyl: Rhovyl'As
Thai Acrylic Fibre: Amicor
Trevira: Trevira Bioactive
Vestagen Technical Textiles: Vestex
OUTLOOK

List of tables

Table 1: Advantages and disadvantages of commonly used antimicrobial agents and
technologies
Table 2: Methods commonly used to test activity of antimicrobial fabrics
Table 3: Silver concentrations in washed and unwashed garments
Table 4: Antimicrobial efficacy of Cupron Enhanced after 50 industrial washes

List of figures

Figure 1: Effects of weak and strong antimicrobial agents
Figure 2: Microscopic image of a textile fibre to which silver nanoparticles have been
attached
Figure 3: Antibacterial efficacy of X-static

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