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Tech Pipeline: Paint to Fight Malaria

Monday, February 25, 2013

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The world’s biggest paint and coatings company is targeting one of the world’s biggest killers—malaria.

AkzoNobel says it is in the process of developing a paint technology that could reduce the incidence of malaria—a disease that kills nearly a million people worldwide each year.


The mosquito is a known malarial vector. The new paints would be insecticidal.

“We are working on the development of technology on paints which are insecticidal for reduction of vector-borne diseases, etc.,” AkzoNobel's Graeme Armstrong recently told the Hindu Business Line, an Indian publication. (Armstrong, executive committee member for Research, Development & Innovation, will soon take over the company's North American operations.)

Malaria, a mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite, is a leading cause of death and disease in many developing countries. Half of the world’s population lives in areas at risk of malaria transmission in 106 countries and territories, according to the World Health Organization’s World Malaria Report 2011.

More Testing Needed

Before such a disease-fighting paint rolls to market, however, much testing is needed to prove its effectiveness, Armstrong said.

Further, “the nod of regulatory authorities in India and world over” will also be required, he told the news bureau. A timeline for the introduction of the paint was not indicated.

mosquito nets
Mike Blyth / Wikimedia Commons

Paint could be the next measure in an arsenal to fight malaria. Mosquito nets are widely used to create a protective barrier against malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

AkzoNobel's research is being planned in association with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the report notes. The organization invests in a variety of proven malaria-control programs and promising research, according to gatesfoundation.org.

Company officials did not immediately respond to a request for more details on AkzoNobel’s efforts to produce anti-malaria paint technology.

Fighting Malaria, Chagas Disease

A Spanish company, Inesba, is also involved in producing paints to help stave off deadly illnesses like Chagas and malaria.

Though the paint, called Inesfly, has not been sanctioned by the World Health Organization as a disease-control method, experimental cases have produced dramatic results, reducing infestation rates by 90% in some areas, according to the developer’s case studies.

A report on that paint development was featured in D+D News in July 2012.


Tagged categories: AkzoNobel; Coatings technology; Health and safety; Research

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