CBC is committed to giving clear and simple information to all who are interested in learning more about biocides.

The Center for Biocide Chemistries

What is the Center for Biocide Chemistries?

The Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC) is an association of companies that manufacture, formulate, and/or support the biocide products industry. The Center addresses a broad range of scientific, research, regulatory, legislative, legal and educational issues pertaining to biocide use in industrial, institutional, and residential settings.

Membership in the Center provides unique opportunities for companies involved in the biocide business to engage in critical dialogue with one another and a variety of regulators as well as help shape the industry.

Since its creation in 1986, the Center has served as a key voice for the biocide registrant community, advocating on behalf of its members before U.S. and international regulators. It is also tasked with collaborating with government agencies to develop innovative scientific models and approaches to assessing exposure to active ingredients from the use of biocide products.

Who is a part of the CBC?

The CBC represents more than 50 companies that manufacture active biocide ingredients and/or formulate biocidal products. In addition, there are several Affiliate members that support those manufacturers and formulators. The Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC or Center) is among the principal associations of registrants in the biocide industry.

How are CBC members’ biocides used?

The Center’s member companies are registrants of biocides that are used in a broad array of applications, including:

  • Paints, coatings, fabrics, latex matrices, fuel, metalworking fluids and many other products, as preservatives, providing protection from microbial contaminants that spoil, decrease in-use service life, and compromise product integrity.
  • Water treatment chemicals to reduce fouling, maintain energy efficiency and protect equipment and material inputs.
  • Antifoulants to control the build-up of organisms, primarily barnacles, macro-algae and microbial slimes, that accumulate on the surfaces of ships’ hulls and submerged permanent structures, such as piers and drilling platforms. When left uncontrolled, this can result in lost productivity, decreased efficiency, increased energy use, time losses, and environmental damage.
  • Wood preservatives, which can maintain wood products for more than 20 years and thus decrease demand on forests and transport of materials.
  • Public-health biocides, including drinking water treatments, products to eliminate or control pathogens in processing food, hospital disinfectants, and in consumer cleaning and other household products.

How is the CBC related to the American Chemistry Council (ACC)?

The CBC operates as an international ACC sector group under ACC’s Chemical Products and Technology Division (CPTD), which provides comprehensive issues management services including regulatory, legislative and marketplace advocacy; research; product stewardship; legal; and communication services.

What is the CBC’s mission?

The CBC’s mission is to promote the science and benefits of biocides, maintain the availability of biocides to help protect public health, and support advocacy efforts for the global biocides industry.

About Biocides

What is a biocide?

Biocides, also called antimicrobials, are a group of chemistries that prevent the growth and spread of microbes like bacteria, viruses, and fungi such as mold. Biocide products are used in homes, offices, schools, industrial and medical facilities, and countless other spaces to help kill germs, disinfect drinking water, ensure everyday products last longer, and keep manufacturing processes running safely.

Why are biocides important? What do they do?

Biocides help prevent the spread of disease, are essential to preserving materials, and ensure countless manufacturing and industrial processes are not compromised by microorganism growth. From ensuring safe drinking water to destroying harmful bacteria and viruses in our healthcare facilities and homes, biocides are vital tools that protect public health. Beyond their uses as disinfectants, biocides also play an important role in promoting sustainability by preserving products to extend their useful lives.

Are biocides safe?

To help ensure safety, biocides are strictly regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. state agencies depending on how they are intended to be used. If a product claims on its label that it can be used to kill microbes, like germs or bacteria, the manufacturer of the product must prove to the EPA that it kills what it claims to kill and that it does not cause any significant harm to people, animals, or the environment. By law, EPA is required to regularly reevaluate every antimicrobial registration to make sure the product continues to meet safety standards.

As with any product, there are associated risks if biocides are used improperly. Biocides are clearly labeled with instructions for handling, storage, and disposal, and when they are followed, these products are safe for use.

Where are biocides used?

Because biocides help kill or prevent the growth of microbes – keeping the public safe – they are used to clean and disinfect homes, medical facilities and public spaces. Also, countless industries, from food production to manufacturing to gas extraction, rely on biocides in their day-to-day operations. Learn more about how and where biocides are used.

What is the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing?

As explained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are distinct differences between “cleaning,” “sanitizing” and “disinfecting”. When it comes to killing germs, think of these processes as Action 1 (low), Action 2 (medium) and Action 3 (high) action levels.

Action 1 is to clean. “Cleaning” removes germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces or objects but it does not kill gems. Cleaning works by using soap and water to physically remove germs from surfaces.

Action 2 is to sanitize. “Sanitizing” lowers the number of germs on a surface or object by reducing the germs to levels considered safe by public health standards or requirements.

Action 3 is to disinfect. “Disinfecting” kills germs by using chemicals directly on surfaces and objects. This process does not necessarily clean a dirty surface or remove the germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning it, disinfection can further lower risk of spreading infection.

How do biocides help in industrial settings?

Microbes can grow and thrive in many industrial settings, causing production problems and safety hazards. Antimicrobials are important in these spaces—for worker safety as well as more efficient manufacturing processes. Countless industries, from food production to manufacturing to gas extraction, rely on antimicrobials.

Where can I find more information about biocides?

You can find much more information about biocides and how and where they are used at the website www.GoodChemistryLivesHere.com. You can also learn more about how biocides help stop the spread of COVID-19 and the importance of using disinfectant products safely and responsibly.

Biocides Used in Fight against COVID-19

Where can I view information and resources that CBC has made available regarding COVID-19?

CBC has created a dedicated page on its official website that lists all of the resources that the Center has created along with links to valuable sources of information from the Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There are also multiple informational resources available at the resource page found at Good Chemistry Lives Here.

Did CBC create a list of disinfectant products that are effective at stopping the spread of COVID-19?

Yes, the list is available, is updated regularly, and now includes more than 1,000 products.

How can I get more information about the CBC COVID-19 Product List?

CBC has created a separate FAQ to address its efforts to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. It is available here: https://biocides.americanchemistry.com/CBCs-List-of-COVID-19-Fighting-Products-FAQs.html

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