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Antimicrobial chemicals are agents or additives that are capable of destroying or impeding the growth of disease causing microbes. Antimicrobial chemicals are organic and inorganic substances that prevent the pathogenicity of microorganisms. Antimicrobial chemicals include all agents that restricts the growth and reproduction of causative organisms such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, virus, etc. Antimicrobial chemicals comprise antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiprotozoal agents that prevent bacterial, fungal, and viral growth in materials exposed to high levels of moisture, ultraviolet radiations, and unsanitary conditions. These chemicals disinfect, sanitize, and alleviate the growth of microorganisms, protect inanimate objects, industrial processes, surfaces, water or other chemical substances from contamination or deterioration caused by microorganisms. Such antimicrobial chemicals are found in soaps, hand sanitizers, and toothpastes to ensure the safety for humans, animals, and the environment.

The global antimicrobial chemicals market is primarily driven by the increase in demand for antimicrobial agents from the healthcare industry. The spread of contagious diseases such as Zika, Ebola, swine flu, hepatitis, HIV, and tuberculosis has created immense pressure on personnel for their protection. Poor sanitation, air pollution, water pollution, and climatic changes are projected to increase the usage of antimicrobial chemicals in health care products. Increase in transmission of foodborne diseases such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria and rising public concern about such diseases are expected to boost the demand for antimicrobial chemicals. Increase in population and change in lifestyle of people are anticipated to drive the demand for antimicrobial chemicals in consumer applications. Stringent regulations regarding food hygiene and safety are anticipated to fuel the demand for antimicrobial chemicals in food and healthcare industries. However, improper disposal of antimicrobial chemicals is expected to lead to contamination of water and soil, which is likely to hamper the antimicrobial chemicals market.

Based on type, the antimicrobial chemicals market can be segmented into inorganic antimicrobial chemicals (silver antimicrobial additives, zinc antimicrobial additives, copper antimicrobial additives, and others) and organic antimicrobial chemicals (phenolic biocides, quaternary ammonium compounds, fungicides, and others). The silver antimicrobial additives (inorganic antimicrobial chemicals) segment held a key share of the global antimicrobial chemicals market in 2016. Silver exhibits high antibacterial and antifungal characteristics and is predominantly utilized in soaps and toothpastes.

In terms of end-use, the antimicrobial chemicals market can be divided into silicone, rubber, plastics, textiles, coatings, and others. The plastics segment accounts for a significant share of the global antimicrobial chemicals market. On account of non-volatility and chemical stability, antimicrobial chemicals are compounded along with polymers.

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Based on application, the antimicrobial chemicals market can be segregated into health & personal care, food & catering, packaging, building & construction, and others. The health & personal care segment is estimated to hold a major share of the global antimicrobial chemicals market. Antimicrobial chemicals are widely employed in catheters, dental trays, healthcare storage, mobile workstations and carts, cleaning products, and over-the-counter medical products.

In terms of geography, the antimicrobial chemicals market can be split into North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and Middle East & Africa. The market in Asia Pacific is expanding rapidly owing to the rise in population, developing infrastructure, and stable economic growth in the region. North America and Europe also held significant shares of the antimicrobial chemicals market owing to the increase in demand for antimicrobial chemicals in end-use industries in these regions.