Earlier this month marked the one year anniversary since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. While the development of several effective vaccines indicates that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, the public health threat posed by COVID-19 continues to require that we all take measures to protect public health and reduce the spread of the disease. 

In the COVID-19 era, we are rethinking how to design living and working spaces. In such an environment, the building products industry has seen a notable increase in demand for building materials containing antimicrobials. Antimicrobials, however, are typically not added to products to protect people from harm. In this newsletter article from last May, we outlined some facts about why antimicrobials are added to building materials and how they should be understood relative to tried and true methods of protecting oneself against COVID-19.

Almost a year later, we believe that this guidance still holds true, but you don’t just have to take our word for it. Last year, building product manufacturers concerned by the pressure to add antimicrobials to their products reached out to a wide group of industry experts and researchers to get the facts. As a result of that leadership and foresight, Healthy Building Network partnered with others in the building products sector, the architecture and design community, and experts in academia to draft The Joint Statement on Antimicrobials in Building Products. The statement clarifies what we know and what we don’t know about antimicrobials in building products. It also asks for greater transparency, truth in advertising, better research to back up public health claims, and better research on the harm antimicrobials can cause to human health and the environment. 

Visit the mindful MATERIALS site to read the Joint Statement on Antimicrobials, and sign on to support an evidence-based and precautionary approach to protecting human health.