The paint and coatings industry continues to supply critical products in support of historic challenges brought on by the current pandemic. “Our members represent 85 percent of the paint and coatings volume in Canada and they will do all they can to support the health and welfare of their many customers at all levels of society,” commented Gary LeRoux, President and CEO of CPCA. The coatings industry supports a number of commercial sectors that require critical product formulations to maintain the ongoing operations of their businesses and thereby support critical operations of their customers, in turn.
The Association applauds both the Ontario and Quebec governments in their understanding of the critical role of supply chains and the importance of materials provided by the paint and coatings industry included in the list of ‘essential services.’ Anti-bacterial and easily cleaned coatings are used in hospitals, senior care centers and other key contact points to help prevent and control bacteria and associated illnesses.
Other examples of the critical and essential products supplied by the paint and coatings industry for the benefit of other industries and the public at large include:
- Life-saving equipment, such as ventilators and vital signs monitors, which have multiple parts and components that must be coated to protect them and ensure they work as designed. Each of these parts will be made at a different location, by different parts suppliers. For each of these parts suppliers will buy their protective coatings from multiple sources and they need the ability to choose the supplier with the necessary coatings available - as rapidly as possible.
- Ventilators and vital signs monitors, other critical pandemic-related supplies and equipment require coatings supplied by paint and coatings manufacturers. These include everything from swab sticks to endotracheal tubes, protective clothing to respirators and sample transport media. For example, protective suits and over-shoe booties are coated, not just to make them blue, but to incorporate protective resins to make sure they perform as needed. Coatings manufacturing companies (and upstream suppliers and distributors) remain open to support manufacturers’ ability to supply these necessary products to support frontline, critical care workers, the heroes who deserve all the support they can get.
- Coatings companies also make cleaning products and mold/mildewcide treatments that are generally used before painting and used for anti-microbial control. It is critical these operations continue as they increase capacity and avoid reliance on big producers.
- Waterproofing coatings are essential in preventing “Sick Building Syndrome.” Waterproofing the envelope of new concrete buildings is crucial in preventing mold and mildew, which can cause respiratory-related illnesses. These products are used mostly for remediation projects of existing facilities, including nursing homes, hospitals, and other areas where the public’s health is of critical concern. In addition, should Emergency Fabricated Structures need to be constructed, as they are in some locations already, these coatings would be required for such projects immediately.
- The paint and coatings industry’s products are essential for use in homes, hospitals, retirement residences and rehabilitation centers to encourage clean surfaces and on transportation infrastructure to ensure the safe movement of our population and commerce. Many of these coatings include special performance characteristics that help promote cleanliness in kitchen and bathroom settings. The interior of steel and aluminum food and beverage cans need a protective coating to ensure food safety, quality, freshness and longevity. Coatings on consumer goods and packaging are necessary to maintain the integrity, cleanliness and security of the product.
In the coming weeks and months, the paint and coatings industry will pay special attention to all the requirements related to current pandemic challenges and where they can seek out new functional coatings and other approaches that will help society now and into the future.