Although use of biocides in the US accounted for 40 per cent of the total for the personal care industry, a new report from Research and Markets, significant growth is being driven by demand in developing markets. "Growth in the North American biocides market has slowed down, but competition for market share among the leaders has only accelerated," states the author of the report, entitled Biocides in Personal Care Global Report - 2007. "Consolidation in the industry has really raised the stakes for companies like Arch, Basf, Bode, Ciba, Clariant, Dow, ISP, Lonza, Rohm & Haas, Schulke & May, Thor and Troy, and they're looking to countries in developing countries," the author added. The main competition is currently coming from China and India, where the manufacturers of generic biocides are competing heavily on price basis. Compounding this problem, western manufacturers are finding themselves increasingly bogged down by regulations for the sector, particularly from US and European authorities. However, despite the challenges, the report says that most biocide active ingredient manufacturers are positive about the market outlook, stating that demand continues to grow while new formulations to meet end-user requirement are being developed at a significant rate. On a consumer basis, developing regions also offer a lot of opportunities for manufactures, as markets such as China, Eastern Europe, India, and South America continue to grow demand for personal care biocides on the back of increasing consumption rates and the fact that human health issues are accorded more importance. However, the report also points out that, in an effort to tap into these growth opportunities, companies must examine the specific needs of each regional market in an effort to adjust their strategies to the growth opportunities. Biocides are most commonly used in liquid personal care products to deter biological infestation and growth, ultimately helping to extend product shelf life and increase safety.