Frequently Asked Questions

Bringing Copper-Powered Peace of Mind to Paints and Coatings

Corning® Guardiant® is a revolutionary technology that is changing the way we look at architectural coatings and the functionality they can offer in public and private spaces. Paint has always been a medium for transforming the look and feel of a space, but innovative new paint formulations can now introduce surface protection from viruses and bacteria as well.

Paints containing Corning Guardiant technology enable painted surfaces to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses in two hours or less, providing continuous, residual sanitizing activity that supplements traditional cleaning and disinfecting practices for up to five years. Guardiant-powered paints are ideal for use in commercial and residential spaces where additional barriers against bacteria and viruses are important, like healthcare, elder care, and childcare facilities as well as schools, gyms, offices, hotels, and homes.

Corning Guardiant is an additive for paints and coatings that applies the antimicrobial power of copper to painted surfaces. The antimicrobial properties of copper are well known and copper is commonly used in products such as pipes for drinking water, coins, cookware and jewelry. Guardiant technology packs the powerful antimicrobial properties of metallic copper into tiny glass ceramic particles, enabling antibacterial and antiviral surface protection across the broad spectrum of colors and textures we see in the coated surfaces that surround us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Like many innovations, Guardiant causes us to ask questions about our current living and working environments and whether they would benefit from this new technology. Browse the frequently asked questions below to understand how paints with Guardiant can enhance your favorite spaces with copper-powered peace of mind.

  • Why do we need antimicrobial paint? We don’t really touch walls very often.

    We perceive walls as being low-contamination areas and tend to neglect them in our regular cleaning practices, but walls occupy large areas in our daily environments and act as landing zones for contaminated droplets from coughing or sneezing. People, especially children, touch walls much more than we realize, potentially encountering a contaminated surface with each touch.

    There are also many other frequently touched surfaces around us that could be coated with paint – doors, handrails, countertops and desktops, furniture, etc. Applying Guardiant-powered paints to these surfaces could reduce the number of bacteria and viruses that are present on the surfaces we come into contact with throughout the day.

  • What is special about paints containing Corning® Guardiant®?

    There are five key elements that set Guardiant-powered paints apart from comparable products:

    1. Guardiant-powered paints are the first copper containing paints in the U.S. registered with the EPA to reduce bacterial and viral contamination on the painted surface.
    2. Paints containing Corning Guardiant have the antimicrobial potency of metallic copper but offer the flexibility, aesthetic, and cost of a decorative paint.
    3. Traditional disinfectants provide temporary efficacy against germs, but paints with Guardiant provide a continuous barrier to painted surfaces against bacteria and viruses to act as a supplement between cleaning and sanitizing for up to five years.
    4. Paints with Guardiant kill a broad spectrum of bacteria and viruses with different intrinsic survivability on surfaces with >99.9% efficacy. These paints have been shown to kill bacteria including gram positive, gram negative and antibiotic resistant bacteria. They have also been shown to kill viruses that are considered easy to kill, such as SARS-CoV-2, as well as viruses like norovirus (the cause of gastrointestinal outbreaks in cruise ships) that are considered hard to kill.
    5. Corning Guardiant’s antimicrobial capabilities are rooted in copper. Because of its unique mechanism of action, copper is just as effective in killing bacteria and viruses today as it was thousands of years ago. Therefore, we believe that paints with Guardiant will not exacerbate concerns of antimicrobial resistance.
  • How do Guardiant-powered paints fit into my regular cleaning and disinfecting routine?

    Paints with Corning Guardiant will supplement regular recommended disinfection and hand washing with an additional layer of sanitizing protection against bacteria and viruses. 

    Traditional disinfection kills existing germs on a surface but doesn’t provide the residual efficacy that protects a surface from the next instance of contamination. There are also surfaces around us like walls that tend to be cleaned less frequently or that are difficult to disinfect like oddly shaped furniture.

    Paints with Guardiant work to continuously reduce the bacteria and viruses on the surface to provide an added layer of sanitizing protection when infrequency or human error arises in our cleaning practices.

  • Are other paints capable of the same function as Guardiant-powered paints?

    Many antimicrobial paints in the market today contain biocides that either preserve the paint or paint film from spoilage by bacteria and fungi, reduce odor and stain causing bacteria, or kill bacteria only. 

    Guardiant-powered paints are the first copper anti-microbial paints registered in the U.S. that reduce bacterial and viral contamination on the painted surface. Moreover, painted surfaces containing Guardiant are unique in their ability to kill a broad spectrum of bacteria and viruses, even those considered “difficult to kill” in the germ hierarchy.

    Importantly, Guardiant-powered paints demonstrate this broad spectrum efficacy even under “dry” test conditions, which better simulate real-world microbe killing environments than alternative “wet” test methods. 

  • I heard that COVID-19 is only spread through the air. Why does this technology matter if it only helps to reduce microbes on surfaces?

    We recognize that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, spreads primarily through the air and that surface-based spread is a less-likely  secondary route.

    But Corning created Guardiant years before the pandemic with the intent of offering “future-proof” supplemental protection for surfaces, capable of killing microbes ranging from antibiotic resistant bacteria that cause deadly hospital acquired infections to viruses that cause the common cold. Guardiant-powered paints are effective against Sars-CoV-2 along with a broad variety of harder-to-kill bacteria and viruses.

  • Is Guardiant contributing to antimicrobial resistance?

    Corning researchers were cognizant of this issue when developing Guardiant, which is part of the reason copper was selected as the active ingredient. Because Guardiant is copper based, research suggests* the likelihood that it could contribute to antimicrobial resistance is very low. The explanation for this is two-fold:

    First, copper is already an ever-present material. It’s an essential nutrient in our bodies and is present in our daily environments. For centuries, it has been used in domestic, medicinal, and industrial applications. Even with such widespread usage, scientific research has not found bacteria that exhibit true resistance to copper.

    Second, the experiments that have been conducted to assess antimicrobial resistance to copper indicate that most pathogens die on dry copper surfaces under ambient conditions before they can mutate, replicate, and pass on genetic material. This is because copper kills germs by multiple mechanisms, rapidly obliterating them by destroying cell coverings and genetic material. Scientists have observed temporary tolerance in some pathogens but believe that the probability of pathogens developing true resistance to the antimicrobial effects of copper is low.

*Grass. G., Rensing, C., and Solioz, M. (2011). Metallic Copper as an Antimicrobial Surface. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Mar. 2011, p. 1541–1547.