Farm Chemicals International: Nov 2006

Permethrin is being defended by Tagros Chemicals India Ltd in the EU. The company has forwarded a dossier, making it the only firm to defend permethrin under the EU Biocide Directive 98/8/EC. In a related development, Tagros has reached a permethrin distribution deal with Belgium based M/S Limaru NV. The agreement involves the distribution of permethrin for PT 18 applications in the EU. Tagros is supplied by Janssen.


Chemical and Engineering News:  Dec 2006

The EPA has decided that silver claimed to be nanoparticles - used to kill bacteria in washing machines will now be regulated as a pesticide. At the moment, washers that generate silver ions are classed as devices and do not need to be registered with EPA. The products at issue are Samsung washing machines that are advertised as using silver ions to kill 99.9% of odour-causing bacteria. The ions are generated by applying current to two silver plates housed next to the machine's tub. EPA has decided that the Samsung silver ion-generating washing machine is subject to registration requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act.

Samsung says it will comply with the change of policy. A number of groups concerned about the environmental impact of nanoparticles of silver had asked the EPA to re-evaluate the way products containing such materials are regulated. In a letter to the EPA, the Natural Resources Defence Council

(NRDC) said there are over 40 products on the market in addition to Samsung's washing machine that have made or implied claims of using nanoparticles of silver to kill bacteria. The NRDC also says the revised policy should lead to EPA reassessing other products that use nanoparticles of silver for their biocidal qualities.


Products Finishing: November 2006

Global growth in the use of inorganic silver as an antibacterial agent in the plastics market is robust and shows no signs of slowing down, particularly in the U.S., Western Europe, and China, according to the latest market studies by Kline & Company.

"Silver is entrenched in the Japanese market, which places a high importance on antimicrobial protection," says Gillian Morris, industry manager of the Chemicals and Materials practice for Kline & Company's research division. "In Japan, silver ions are supported in an inorganic matrix/substrate such as zeolites or alumina-silica-based biocides that are often used not so much to protect the integrity of the material, but more to protect consumers, particularly in hospital settings where containing disease transmission vectors is a big concern."

According to Kline, the overall markets for specialty biocides in both the U.S. and Europe are very mature, with silver emerging as one of the few bright spots. Annual consumption of silver-based biocides is expected to grow by more than 20% in Europe, 25% in the U.S., and nearly 15% in China, albeit from a small base in each case. However, cultural factors and market nuances present significant challenges as well as opportunities to suppliers of these materials.

"The Japanese are quite sophisticated in terms of the technology and demand for protection and the method in which it is delivered to the final article," says Morris. "On the other hand, in Europe, there is growing concern about overexposure to antimicrobial substances. The fear is that sanitizing everything may reduce people's natural immunity to common germs and help antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria to develop." 


Japan Chemical Week: November 2006

Daiichi Sankyo will sell its 100% owned agrochemical subsidiary Sankyo Agro, and Sankyo Lifetech's Ameni-care pesticides and wood preservatives unit to Mitsui Chemicals. Sankyo Lifetech generated sales of Yen 16.7 bn ($145 M) in FY ended 31 Mar 2006, of which roughly Yen 2.3 bn were from sales of food additives and drug ingredients, including vitamin B.


Timber Trade News: December 2006

Arch Chemicals has set up an office in Mumbai to increase its sales and procurement activities. The US company has presence in water sanitising products, cosmetic ingredients, wood preservatives and biocides segments. Arch has identified cosmetics, personal care product, water treatment and biocide segments as growth areas in India for the company.

For its 3Q 2006, Arch Chemicals has reported personal care and industrial biocides sales of $71.8 M ($66.9 M for its 3Q 2005) and operating income of $10.5 M ($11.7 M). Sales increased $4.9 M, or approximately 7%, due to higher volumes. The higher volumes are attributable to increased demand in the emulsions and in-can preservation markets relative to a soft 3Q 2005 and continued strong demand for biocides used in antidandruff products. This increase in volumes has been partially offset by lower volumes in the metalworking fluids market due to competitive pressures in certain geographic regions. Operating income decreased $1.2 M, primarily due to higher raw material costs which offset the higher sales volumes.

The company reported wood protection and industrial coatings sales of $97.4 M ($89.7 M for its 3Q 2005) and operating income of $1.2 M ($6.2 M). Sales increased $7.7 M, or approximately 9%, due primarily to higher volumes. The higher sales volumes are due to increased demand for Tanalith E products used in residential applications in Europe and industrial coatings, particularly in the Eastern European market.