What does the term "antimicrobial" mean?

Q: What does the term "antimicrobial" mean?

A: “Antimicrobial” is a broad term, defined as an agent capable of destroying, killing or inhibiting the growth of disease-causing microorganisms. When applying this to touch surfaces, this leaves some confusion among both the medical community and general marketplace.

As applied to CuVerro® alloys, the definition conforms to EPA registration claims—that the touch surfaces are capable of killing harmful bacteria1—and are more appropriately termed ‘bactericidal.’

Other surfaces, like nano-silver and Triclosan coatings only claim to inhibit growth. They neither have EPA registration nor are allowed by EPA to claim the ability to kill bacteria.