Back in February of this year I wrote about the dangers that mosquitos bring to communities across the globe. According to the World Health Organization, “Of all disease-transmitting insects, the mosquito is the greatest menace, spreading malaria, dengue and yellow fever, which together are responsible for several million deaths and hundreds of millions of cases every year.” Bill Gates has even ranked mosquitos as the largest human predator, noting that mosquitos kill more people each year than any other animal, including humans.
I was excited to read this month that Kansai Paint Group, headquartered in Osaka, Japan, announced U.S. EPA approval for its Kansai Anti-Mosquito Paint. The paint has been shown to significantly reduce the presence of mosquitos in painted areas, contributing to mosquito population control and reducing the spread of many mosquito-borne diseases.
The water-based paint is designed for interior use. When mosquitos come in contact with the active ingredient in the paint, a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide, their nervous systems are disabled, preventing them from flying and biting. Use of the active ingredient in this product has not shown to be dangerous for humans, either by physical contact or oral ingestion. Further, Kansai claims that the presence of the active ingredient does not affect the paint’s aesthetic quality – it still provides a smooth, matte finish with superior opacity and whiteness.
“Our testing has shown that the Kansai Anti-Mosquito Paint was able to exterminate on contact more than 90% of mosquitos, and is effective for at least two years,” stated Kalpana Abe, Vice President, President’s Office, Kansai Paint Group. “It will deter various species of mosquitos, which can carry several viruses present in the U.S., including Zika and the West Nile.”
According to Kansai, they began developing the paint in 2013. After several years of extensive testing, the application was officially submitted to the EPA in early 2017. Approval was secured in just over 12 months, which was a near-record authorization time for products in this industry. EPA approval is also expected to hasten approvals abroad. This is the only anti-mosquito paint that is currently approved by the EPA. It is also approved in Uganda and Zambia.
U.S. Paint, a subsidiary of the Kansai Paint Group, will lead production in the United States, and the paint is expected to be available in the United States this summer.
Other companies that have entered the global anti-mosquito paint market are Nippon, Pacific Paint and Loop Paint. It is great to see the coatings industry respond to the mosquito crisis. Looking forward to see where this technology takes us in the future!