How paint could protect you from Zika (seriously)


If you thought that paint was all about colour – read on.

Pretty with purpose!

In this sad world of selfies, Instagram filters, and too many Kardashians to keep track of, prettiness alone has become boring.

To get our stamp of approval these days, we demand style with substance. Some ‘more than meets the eye’ intrigue.

This is perhaps why we are so taken in by the new wave of paints that are emerging, which not only promise to look great, but also have hidden depths. They may be pretty – but they have purpose.

The following two paints mean that re-decorating needn’t just be for a new look, but can also be practical, and potentially even lifesaving.

#1 – The anti-mosquito paint

Could a mosquito repellent paint could potentially prevent the spread of deadly viruses?

“We’ve launched at just the right time” says Kansai Paint Marketing Executive Janson Pang, speaking of the firm’s new “ALES Anti-MosQ” formula.

He refers to the outbreak in the mosquito-borne Zika virus, already found in 70 countries including South East Asian nations Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Just last week the World Health Organisation warned that the virus is “highly likely” to spread further in the Asia-Pacific region.

With no vaccine available, prevention is key.

The new paint uses synthetic pyrethroid insecticides to actively repel mosquitos and other insects. It does so by disrupting the nervous systems of the insect, including the Aedes aegypti mosquito (which carries Zika and dengue viruses) and disabling their bites.

It has also been found to be completely safe, having won the approval of the National Environment Agency and the Singapore green building council.

“Paints are like baking,” explains Pang, “the layers are like formulas, the chemicals, the solvents, the pigments. The insect repellent additive is the last thing we added. It gives a functionality to the paint.”

The water-based decorative paint is designed for interiors, and colours are made to order. The active properties last around two years, after which a re-paint is recommended.

More: 7 tips for the ultimate interior

#2 – The anti-viral paint

Parents – listen up.

Nippon’s VirusGuard paint promises to kill many of the germs that are commonly spread amongst children.

Currently a hit in Kindergartens in Singapore, we think the paint, which is designed for interiors, can also make an excellent addition to your home – especially if you host a lot of playdates.

The formula works by using silver ion technology (which is activated when oxidized and is deadly to bacteria) as well as control release technology.

“The slow release technology is important because silver ion decomposes quickly,” explains Nippon Senior Manager, Kel Low.

“Air fresheners and air purifiers also use silver ion technology. You either have to spray or switch it on to make use of the silver ion benefits – when you switch it off, the silver ion is just not there. For our purpose, if there was no slow release, there would be no anti-bacterial properties.”

More: Ugly no more – Philippine town gets a colourful makeover

Available in off-white, different colours are available to order.

The paint kills germs that are typically spread through sneezing, saliva and touching within a few seconds of contact. It is effective against Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HMFD), and various types of virus such as H1N1 (swine flu), E.Coli, MRSA and Staphylococcus Aureus. The active properties last for about 4-5 years.

The germs are not killed out-right, but “the paint shortens the lifespan of the virus very rapidly” says Low.

Property Report spoke to both Kansai and Nippon at BEX Asia in Singapore last month. BEX Asia is Southeast Asia’s leading trade exhibition for the green building market.

Images: mycteria/ Sweet Art/ rangizzz/

More: 3 ways to add some spice to your bedroom