Creating chemistry for protection

COVID-19,  the new coronavirus is spreading further. While monitoring the development and providing regular updates to our employees, BASF has also been providing chemical solutions to medical professionals and the public at large to combat this virus.   

Protection for yourself
As one of the largest povidone-iodine suppliers in the world, BASF has been working round-the-clock to ensure supply for medicinal, disinfectant and personal care usePersonal hygiene and protection are the first line of defence that makes disinfectants one the most sought-after products from the shelves. Public health authorities such as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a variety of disinfectants, including povidone-iodine solution, alcohol and hypochlorites (bleach).

Invented by scientists at BASF in Germany in 1934, povidone (PVP), which later complexed with iodine to obtain povidone-iodine, has been a broad-spectrum antibacterial and antiviral agent. In 1964, povidone-iodine was selected by NASA for the disinfection of Apollo’s space laboratory and gained great success.

BASF is also the world’s largest producer of algal beta-carotene, an important vitamin A sources for humans. Vitamin A is essential and plays an important role in vision, cellular differentiation, immune function, iron metabolism, antioxidant activity and maintenance of normal skin. BASF’s final beta-carotene product can be found in dietary supplements, food, beverages and baby formula.   


Protection for medical workers
On the other hand, medical professionals working on the front line need to wear masks, goggles, gloves and airtight one-piece medical gowns six to seven hours a day. To ensure high performance of medical protective equipment, chemistry is key.

BASF is provider of a wide range of surface modifiers and hydrophilic polymers that can be customised for different lens materials. How does that work? By reducing the surface tension of water or absorbing water, goggles are prevented from fogging caused by the formation of fine droplets.

BASF is also one of the world’s leading producers of PolyTHF™. PolyTHFis the main raw material for Spandex for various textiles commonly used in sportswear, underwear, outerwear and swimwear.  Due to its flexibility, Spandex is also widely used in the field of medical protective clothing including headbands of medical masks and elastic bands of protective clothing. It has outstanding antibacterial performance, and remains stable when getting wet, which provides comfortable use experience and great antibacterial performance even when being soaked by sweat. 

BASF provides both medical-grade plastic materials and a broad portfolio of plastic additives that can effectively guarantee long-term thermal stability and processing stability of various materials. For example, BASF engineering plastics Ultraform® PRO and Ultradur® PRO can be used predominantly in inhalers, insulin pens, atomizing devices and measuring equipment; and the thermoplastic polyurethane elastomer (TPU) Elastollan® is also particularly suitable for medical devices such as infusion sets, catheters for vesical installation or wound dressings. Irganox®, an antioxidant product family of BASF is used to produce a breathable material for medical gowns in China.

Stay healthy and keep creating chemistry.