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Medical master: how the colour white can protect your health

Hospitals are one of the most important aspects of modern society, caring for everyone from childhood broken bones to expecting mothers. They’ve helped us live longer, healthier lives, and exist at the forefront of science and technology. But how much do you know about the role that the colour white plays?

Attractive Ambiance

Did you know that it’s not just the medicines that help you heal in hospital? Studies have shown recently that even the colour of your room can be essential to a speedy recovery. Bright coloured rooms can improve patient’s moods, reduce recovery times, and help people sleep better. Titanium dioxide (TiO2)is a chemical which can make paints white, or bring out the brightness of other tones. For this reason it is essential to giving the bright atmosphere needed to give patients a pleasant stay in hospital.

Cleanliness is key

Keeping hospitals as clean and germ free as possible is one of every medical professional’s highest priorities – or else people would leave sicker than they entered. This means disinfecting every surface, and cleaning any soiling as soon as it is found. Titanium dioxide is used in both the paint on walls and in the plastics and coatings of much of the equipment found in hospitals. It helps to quickly show up dirt and grime which could cause infection, so the highest standards of cleanliness can be maintained.  

Plastics for health

When designing the high tech medical devices used in hospitals, engineers have to ensure they last, and the plastic doesn’t become brittle. Exposure to bright UV lights, such as those sometimes used in hospitals for disinfection, can break down plastics and risk debris breaking off in what needs to be a sterile environment. TiO2 protects plastics from this embrittlement, making it perfect for use in medical devices.

Navigating neatly

It is obvious that many of the people using hospitals are not in the best of health. With increasingly aging populations all over Europe, many visitors to modern medical centres have to cater to all sorts of age related ailments, including poor vision. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is the pigment often used to make things as white as they can be, and this has a big part to play. White walls ensure maximum contrast; helping people with impaired vision navigate easier. Hospitals often also use coloured lines to point people in the direction of wings and wards; again TiO2 makes it easy to find your way around.

Titanium dioxide is an essential substance used in all aspects of modern medical care. So next time you’re in a hospital be sure to look around and think about why everything is white!

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