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Whitepaper explores the future of barrier technologies in commercial cleaning

Published 9th February, 2023 by Neil Nixon

Whitepaper explores the future of barrier technologies in commercial cleaning

Specialist cleaning service provider, React Specialist Cleaning, has released a new white paper in collaboration with the National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) entitled 'Biofilms & barrier technologies: The future of commercial cleaning'. The report examines the risks posed by biofilms and the potential of new ‘barrier technologies’ to mitigate them.

A biofilm is an immobile community of microorganisms that stick to each other and to surfaces. They can form almost anywhere, and grow as the microorganisms multiply and attach to other communities. Biofilms present health risks to humans and animals because they offer refuge to potentially pathogenic bacteria, viruses and fungi. Without the right care they can create food safety issues, contaminate water supplies and ultimately cause harmful infection.

Given their biocidal resilience, biofilms are difficult to remove using conventional cleaning products. According to the company, most of these products - even many that claim to ‘kill 99.9% of germs’ - will leave harmful bacteria behind after application because they cannot penetrate the protective film that the microorganisms form.

The report describes how ‘barrier technologies’ (or simply ‘barrier tech’) can prevent the formation of biofilms. They do this by making appropriate surfaces antimicrobial themselves. There are two main types:

  • Those that apply a coating containing microbial materials, such as biocides, copper or silver, to an existing surface.
  • Those that create a new surface with a structural make-up that ruptures or repels microbial cells.

Shaun Doak, CEO of React Specialist Cleaning, said: “The pandemic has encouraged organisations to rethink how they use cleaning services. It is now well known that hygiene and cleanliness have a significant impact on employee health and, as a result, productivity. People need reassurances that the spaces they live and work in are safe. But to demonstrate the power of cleaning, cleaning providers need to do more than just make their cleaning teams visible.”

The report provides three examples of real barrier-tech products that cleaning operatives can use in public spaces. It also provides professional advice related to buying effective products and using them correctly.

William Green, innovation and partnership manager at National Biofilms Innovation Centre, said: “The impact of biofilms on health and wellbeing, both at home and in the workplace, is significant, with effects of the COVID 19 pandemic still being felt. Combined with the looming threat of antimicrobial resistance, it has never been more important to develop new technologies to combat this growing threat. NBIC is bringing together companies like REACT, as well as academics, manufacturers and regulators to fast track the development of new effective treatments to prevent and remove biofilms.”

To download a copy of Biofilms & barrier technologies: The future of commercial cleaning, please visit:

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