Without the use of a natural or chemical preservatives in our everyday products, consumers would constantly have to replace much of what they purchase at a faster rate. Chemical, or synthetically manufactured additives, inhibit microbial growth that cause decay. These class II preservatives can be either antimicrobial or antioxidants.
Antimicrobials will keep products fresher and expand their shelf life by killing bacteria and fungi as well as preventing any new growth. Antioxidants keep the oxidation process from occurring, which also extends the life of a product. Most people associate these with food, but in reality, many products contain additives that prolong their life.
Some medications require such additives to so that patients have instant access to them when they are needed. Biological samples use them so to preserve a specimen for testing purposes. Additionally, even items such as paints and wood contain them to prolong their strength and integrity.