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From Home Furnishing Business

Science Expert Leads SFC Webinar, Addresses Antimicrobial Downsides

As part of its monthly Sustainability Essentials webinar series, the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) will present Antimicrobials in Furnishings in the time of COVID on Thursday, Sep. 17, at 12 pm ET.

The SFC engaged Dr. Ted Schettler MD, MPH, Science Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, to lead the discussion around antimicrobial use during the COVID-19 pandemic, bridging the topic with antimicrobial textiles and surface treatments for home furnishings.

Although health safety concerns around the spread of disease are justified, overuse of antimicrobials is documented to have detrimental effects on human health and the environment.

Antimicrobial polymers persist in the environment and are specifically associated with endocrine disruption (affecting thyroid function), reproductive toxicity, and allergies. Notably, their overuse additionally leads to ever more resistant strains of bacteria.

In a recent talk for the Center of Environmental Health, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting public health from exposures to toxic chemicals, Dr. Schettler pointed to a lack of evidence supporting the premise that product surfaces featuring antimicrobial properties are effective at reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 viruses.

“It’s important to know the facts before rushing to false conclusions,” says Susan Inglis, SFC executive director. “We don’t want to see a proliferation of antimicrobial product offerings in the home furnishings categories that cause more harm than good.” 

The webinar is open to all industry professionals, including product manufacturers, retailers, and interior designers. Attendees may register here for the free event.

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