PM Pens Launched with Agion (silver) Technology.

Press Release: June 2003

PM Company announces the launch of Preventa Pens-- the first security pens available in the United States with AgION antimicrobial technology built right into the pen barrel. PM's launch of Preventa Antimicrobial Pens addresses an increasing concern over the growth of bacteria on shared items such as pens in offices, banks and other public places.

Preventa pens suppress bacterial growth because the barrels are manufactured, in an ISO 9002 certified manufacturing facility, using the advanced inorganic compound- AgION antimicrobial. "AgION antimicrobial is a silver ion delivery system that prevents the growth and migration of damaging bacteria, yeast, molds and fungi," says Tom Richards, Vice President of Marketing for PM Company. "Silver is natural and is one of the safest, most effective ways to suppress destructive bacteria."
Moisture in the air causes a controlled release of silver ions at a slow and steady rate to provide continuous, long-term protection against damaging bacteria, molds and yeasts, as well as many other microbes. AgION Antimicrobial is EPA-registered, FDA-recognized and the technology is safe for humans and animals.

US Milliken offers new Antimicrobial for Rubber.

CNI: June 2003

Milliken Chemical has introduced a new line of antimicrobial heat-cured rubber compounds it believes will help control or even halt the growth of bacteria on rubber. Called Elastoguard, the new product is the result of a niche-based focus by the Spartanburg, South Carolina-based specialty chemicals producer and represents an example of finding a solution for a weakness in the market, said Milliken spokesman Scott McDowell in an interview here during this year’s National Plastics Expo (NPE).

The privately-held company does not disclose sales or capacity figures, said McDowell, who serves as new business development manager for Milliken. But he cited Elastoguard as a new product designed to provide alternatives to organic biocides to help solve cleaning challenges in food processing, packaging, medical, industrial and other applications prone to microbial growth. The company will produce Elastoguard at its facility in Manchester, UK.

Milliken notes that rubber parts are particularly vulnerable to attack by bacteria and fungi because their "chemical constituents provide an ideal source of nutrients that support microbial growth." Traditionally, compounders have blended antimicrobial additives into elastomers as an inhibitor. But those chemicals tend to leach from the matrix material and leave some areas unprotected, allowing the microbe suppressants to diminish over time.

In contrast, Elastoguard employs a new biocide to permeate an entire rubber part, providing "skin-to-core protection without the zones of limited inhibition common to organic biocide processes," according to Milliken. The new biocide is a silver-sodium-zirconium-phosphate (silver-NZP) ion exchange resin called Antimicrobial Alphasan.

Although Milliken could not provide estimates of the market for Elastoguard, the company noted that demand for microbials in general is growing rapidly with more than $1bn (Euro870m) spent annually for items as diverse as food processing conveyor belts, liquid soap, health and beauty aids, medical wound-care devices, catheters and rubber mats.

Bayer to spin off Japanese Chemicals as New Entity in July 2003.

Japan Chemical News: June 2003

Bayer's expansion of its chemicals business in Japan will include the spinning-off of its chemicals business into a wholly-owned subsidiary from 1 Jul 2003. The creation of Bayer Chemicals Japan (BCJ) will include transfer of Bayer's site at Toyohashi which operates laboratories for ion exchange resins, paper chemicals and fibre processing chemicals. BCJ may add an inorganic pigments laboratory by 2004. BCJ is forecasting growth in Japan for fine chemicals (pharmaceutical and agrochemical), preservatives (biocides), halogen-free flame retardants, paper chemicals, leather chemicals and fibre chemicals

Ciba launches Irgaguard F 3000 in Plastics Industry.

Plastic Additives News: July 2003

Ciba Specialty Chemicals has announced the global launch of Ciba® IRGAGUARD® F 3000 (based on benzimidazole), a new organic fungicide for use in polymers and rubbers. The antifungal agent acts as a material preservative by inhibiting the growth of mold and mildew, and preventing undesired effects such as staining and odor, thereby protecting the finished polymer itself. 

IRGAGUARD F 3000 can be incorporated into various polymer materials such as PVC, Polyurethane, Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Polystyrene, Polyester and Nylon as well as into rubber and elastomers. The product is primarily designed for applications exposed to fungal attack such as in wood composites and wet room supplies. 

The new IRGAGUARD F 3000 is complementary to the IRGAGUARD A 2000 algaecide, the organic bacteriostatic IRGAGUARD B 1000 and the silver based product IRGAGUARD B 5000, which recently received both EPA and FDA approval for specific uses. Ciba Specialty Chemicals now offers through its IRGAGUARD product line a comprehensive range of solutions against unwanted growth of microorganisms to protect finished plastic or rubber articles. 


5.6%—Predicted Global Growth rate of Biocides to 2006.

Coatings World: July 2003

$5.9 billion—Predicted value of biocide shipments in 2006.

World demand for biocides is projected to increase 5.6% per year to $5.9 billion in 2006, according to World Biocides, a new study by the Freedonia Group (Cleveland). North America and Western Europe will remain the largest regional markets, accounting for about two-thirds of overall demand.

The Asia/Pacific region, due mainly to double-digit growth in China, is expected to register the fastest growth through this decade, and will be the second-largest regional market by decade’s end. Latin America is also expected to register above-average growth, but will still account for less than 5% of world demand.

Regulatory considerations will continue to have a profound effect on the biocides industry, most notably in the United States, Canada and Western Europe, the study reports. The U.S. EPA’s product registration process is costly and time-consuming, and the Canadian registration process is comparable. Health Canada collaborates with the EPA on many biocides-related matters.

In the European Union, a decade-long reshaping of the biocides market is underway, following the implementation of its Biocidal Products Directive. A large share, perhaps well over half, of currently approved active ingredients are not expected to survive the reconsideration process. In other parts of the world, the stringency of environmental regulations varies widely, but the general trend of increasingly rigid standards is expected to continue.

The coatings and paper markets for biocides are expected to register the strongest growth among the major end-use applications. Demand for biocides used in paints and coatings will increase as a result of faster growth in global coatings production. Also, there will be a continuation of the trend toward greater use of waterborne coatings formulations, which are usually more susceptible to microbial attack. This transformation within the coatings market is essentially complete in the United States and Western Europe, but is still well underway in many other parts of the world. The following table compares global regional sales in million of U.S. dollars:



1996 ($ M)

2001 ($ M)

2006 ($ M)

% Growth (96 to 01)

% Growth (01-06)







North America






West Europe






Asia Pacific