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Technical Sales Support



The Protection of Coatings from Surface Fungal Growth

Fungi are a very diverse group of organisms ubiquitous in the environment, they can present as microscopic or as fruiting bodies with underground systems that extend over hectares. While some species can be detrimental to humans, animals and plants, due to their vast diversity, fungi occupy different niches in nature and are responsible for important ecosystem services, which benefit humans and the overall ecosystem. They are an important part of soil biodiversity, and are closely interlinked with vegetation and carbon and nutrient cycling. They can also be an important food source much sought after by the gourmet and specialist markets.

Fungi have developed metabolic pathways to utilise an enormous variety of substrates enabling them to grow on both natural and synthetic surfaces, including applied coatings. Fungal growth on interior surfaces results in unsightly staining and unpleasant odours and may lead to the destruction of interior surfaces, furnishings, clothing and footwear. More sinisterly though, unseen biotoxins released by some mould can cause Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) in susceptible individuals and long term exposure has been suggested a link with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis..

The reduction of moisture in a building is critical for controlling mould growth, and ingress of water from leaking roofs or pipes requires proper repairing. The buildup of moisture in a building form condensation and habitation can be sufficient to allow the growth of fungi. The use of specific fungicides added to a coating or sealing materials will assist to control the growth of fungi in these situations that occur in all homes.

The paper will outline the problem and include solutions to control surface fungal growth. It will cover available fungicides, problems with their inclusion along with changes in regulations that limit their use. The information gained from the paper will assist paint formulators and producers to navigate towards a better future for applicators and users of coated surfaces


Kevin Roden graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Microbiology and Pharmacology.

He has had extensive experience in microbiological testing and has been employed as Manager for two consultant Microbiological Testing Laboratories and Quality Assurance Manager for a vaccine manufacturer.

Kevin has been involved in the coatings industry for over 30 years recommending the most appropriate biocides for varying applications and evaluating their performance in industrial and personal care products. Kevin is currently employed by Arxada in the position of Technical Sales Support Specialist.   

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