Antimicrobial keyboards and mice have some type of antimicrobial coating. Our engineers have looked at these coatings and have found many reasons not to use them. We did not find any proof that these coatings would be effective, and we did find coatings that are harmful and could potentially induce resistant microbes. Therefore, none of our keyboards and mice have such antimicrobial coatings. You can read more about what we looked at on this page.
Claims that antimicrobial coatings reduce the number of microbes on surfaces are based on research results achieved under laboratory conditions.
So far we have found no scientific evidence that this reduction is also found in the healthcare environment.
The standard that is used to test an additives efficacy is mostly ISO 22196 (JIS Z 2001). This requires 95% relative humidity,
35 degrees Celcius and 24 hours in direct contact with the additive. Needless to say The ISO 22196 method is not necessarily
representative of actual surface contamination events found in healthcare facilities.
Read more about: standard to determine antimicrobial activity 1 and standard to determine antimicrobial activity 2
Also, users may associate “antimicrobial” with “self-cleaning” and tend NOT to clean it properly. A study done years ago showed
that stethoscope covers that were marked antimicrobial had a larger number of microorganisms than covers not marked.
The study hypothesized the users did not clean the covers because they thought that being antimicrobial was sufficient to protect them.
Read more about: study
Most antimicrobial coatings are based on the release of active biocidal agents from the surface.
These biocides are inherently toxic. There is a considerable amount of research that shows they are harmful to humans,
animals, and to the environment at large.
A good source to find the risks per product: nano risk database
Antimicrobial Coatings could be potential inducers of resistant microbes. Antimicrobial resistance is a complex problem driven by
many interconnected factors, so it is difficult to filter out what impact antimicrobial coatings may have, but we choose a prudent approach.