Industrial hog farm. Image credit:Nicholas D Kristof/NYT.
Yankee fans no longer need worry about being twice bitten by the baseball bug. Yankee Stadium is going to be treated with a biocide called SportsAide 1000 that a supplier states may last for years. Contractors will spray it on all exposed surfaces. A separate formulation goes on team and staff clothing. Apparently, hundreds of other stadia in the USA have been similarly treated. The news comes via UPI, from the story titled New Yankee Stadium to be antimicrobial. We wondered: what is in SportsAide 1000: why slather it all over a major new stadium; and, what's going on? Read on for partial answers.Apparently the main idea behind biocidal stadium spritzing is to suppress "MRSA" (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), the anti-biotic resistant, human skin rotting, misery causing, sometimes-fatal, strain of "Staph". The biocidal coating also supposedly reduces odor and ring worm exposure risk.
One distributor's literature for SportsAide 1000 indicates an effectiveness period of a year or so (not three as seen in other reports), at a cost of $2,467 for 1-5 gallon, two-part, application kit. Player health insurance must be steep. Or, they simply can't risk MVPs missing games because of MRSA.
Why do major pro-sport venues and high school gyms now have to be covered with biocidal coatings? Fear of MRSA, to the tune of $500+/gallon to make a sports venue operating-room sterile, surely is a symptom of an underlying cause of great significance. (This is one you can't blame on Climate Change.)
Nicholas D. Kristoff, who writes for the New York Times provided some likely answers as to what is going on in this week's Wednesday column, titled: Our Pigs, Our Food, Our Health
So what's going on here, and where do these antibiotic-resistant infections come from? Probably from the routine use — make that the insane overuse — of antibiotics in livestock feed. This is a system that may help breed virulent "superbugs" that pose a public health threat to us all. That'll be the focus of my next column, on Sunday.
The material safety data sheet (MSDS) prepared by the cited product's original formulator, Coatings Specialist Group, of Rochester Hills, MI, USA, lists the main ingredient in SportsAide 1000 as Octadecylaminodimethyltrihydroxy-silylpropyl Ammonium Chloride.
From the illustration provided on the biocidal product distributor's website, it looks as if an organic chain that performs a biocidal functional is bound to silane compound that in turn bonds with objects and building surfaces. There are many similar organo-silane coatings on the market; for example:
Patents Online shows a similar product formulated for skin application!
United States Patent 6613755
Abstract:(You definitely don't want silane solution meant for building surfaces on your skin before the curing is complete, as organo-silanes can be quite irritating.) Various other organo-silane formulations are also being promoted to suppress toxic mold growth in buildings.
A method for application to the skin of aqueous compositions containing antimicrobial organosilane quaternary ammonium compounds, which remain on the skin, are substantive to it and reduce or eliminate bacteria, viruses and fungi present and prevent future contamination by their presence and substantive character. All formulations are aqueous solutions which may be scented and/or colored and all contain a water soluble, organosilicon quaternary ammonium compound or mixture thereof; specifically 3-(trimethoxysilyl)-propyloctadecyl-dimethyl ammonium chloride or 3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyldidecylmethyl ammonium chloride and the trisilanol, polysiloxanol and water soluble polysiloxane derivatives thereof.
Being that this type of spray is a pesticide, by USEPA's criteria, and is considered toxic to aquatic organisms, spray applicators must ensure that none runs into waterways. Rain would call that game.
Presumably the treatment will be repeated every few years at significant expense. How does one know when it's time to repeat? No answer for that one.
Apologies in advance to Yankee fans. I was not trying to infer with the photo that your new digs are like a pig sty. The idea was to get you thinking past symptoms and about the real cause of the MRSA issue.