SINGAPORE: A spray, described as a self-disinfecting coating, has been applied to buttons in HDB lifts in Singapore, as a safeguard against viruses, bacteria and fungi.
Over the past two weeks, Singapore’s town councils have coated 1.5 million lift buttons inside 26,000 HDB lifts, as well as at lift lobbies.
A total of 650 litres of the coating, named sdst, was donated to all 16 town councils by Changi Foundation, Changi Airport Group’s (CAG) philanthropic arm.
In a media release on Thursday (Apr 2), Changi Foundation said the coating is eco-friendly, safe on human skin, and lasts for three months.
"The sdst coating is effective in two ways. Firstly, it has a needle-like structure that ruptures the outer membrane of viruses, bacteria and fungi, thereby reducing their ability to infect," said CAG.
"Secondly, proprietary bonding agents in the coating allow it to adhere tightly to surfaces at a molecular level, such that even with repeated scrubbing and cleaning, the coating does not leach and remains effective for as long as three months."
CAG said it conducted trials and found the coating to be effective in providing longer-lasting protection on frequently touched surfaces.
In February, CAG coated frequently-touched surfaces such as lift buttons, door handles, touch screens and trolley handles in Changi Airport with sdst.
“We have stepped up efforts to clean and disinfect our blocks so as to reduce bacteria and virus transmission in view of [the] COVID-19 situation," said Dr Teo Ho Pin, coordinating chairman of PAP Town Councils.
"The use of this new protective self-disinfecting coating on our lift buttons will further reduce bacteria and virus transmission."
However, Dr Teo said that hard objects may scrape the coating off, and sought cooperation from members of the public to not to press the buttons with pointed objects, such as keys.