Antimicrobial Copper and Healthcare Projects
16 Dec 2016
By Adam Estelle
Project Engineer for the Copper Development Association
Even in the most proactive hospitals, actions such as opening doors, flushing toilets, and turning on faucets can expose patients, healthcare workers, and visitors to antibiotic-resistant superbugs including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE), which can survive on traditional surface materials like or even months.
Through installing hardware and components made of antimicrobial copper, hospitals across the country are supplementing their infection control programs. This material continuously kills more than 99.9 percent of bacteria transferred by touch within two hours between regular cleanings, even after repeated contaminations. Grinnell Regional Medical Center—an Iowa healthcare facility consisting of 49 beds and serving 40,000 residents—is one of those early adopters of antimicrobial copper to further protect its patients, staff, and visitors alike from harmful bacteria. (See the EPA public health registration for copper alloys at www.antimicrobialcopper.org/us/epa-registration for more information.)