Approximately four million people in the EU acquire a healthcare-associated infection each year, from which approximately 37,000 die. Antimicrobial Copper kills the microbes that cause these infections.
Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) place a significant socioeconomic burden on people from all regions of the world. In the UK, 300,000 people acquire infections in hospitals each year resulting in nearly 5,000 deaths. In addition to the immeasurable personal costs, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates the direct cost of HCAIs to be £1 billion per year. These infections – such as MRSA and C. difficile – are caused by microbes that thrive on objects we touch every day. Antibiotic-resistant organisms have spread from the healthcare environment to schools, homes and mass transit. Despite aggressive hand washing campaigns and routine cleaning, infection rates remain unacceptably high and more needs to be done to lower the risk of acquiring an infection and improve patient safety.
Now there is a new weapon in the fight against the microbes that cause these deadly infections: Antimicrobial Copper.
With broad-spectrum and rapid efficacy, Antimicrobial Copper has been shown to kill pathogenic microbes in the laboratory and the clinical environment, significantly and continuously reducing bacteria. With recent clinical trial data showing key touch surfaces made from Antimicrobial Copper can reduce a patient's risk of acquiring an HCAI, it has been shown that these antimicrobial products, as part of contemporary hospital architecture and design, can improve infection prevention and control in hospitals.
Antimicrobial Copper is the only solid metal touch surface to have efficacy data independently verified through a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration, which supports its claim to continuously kill more than 99.9% of the bacteria* that cause HCAIs, within two hours of contact.
The supporting science has proven Antimicrobial Copper to be the most effective antimicrobial touch surface and has sparked a global campaign advocating the use of these materials to combat infectious microbes in healthcare facilities, mass transit, educational institutions and beyond.
Three main characteristics make Antimicrobial Copper the most effective touch surface material:
Continuously kills microbes
- Efficacy as an antimicrobial is scientifically proven to be far more effective than silver-containing coatings
- Proven to continuously kill the microbes that cause infections
- The only solid metal touch surface approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Never wears out
- Continuous and ongoing antimicrobial action
- Remains effective even after repeated wet and dry abrasion and re-contamination
- Natural oxidation does not impair efficacy.
Safe to use
- Not harmful to people or the environment
- Inherently antimicrobial, no chemicals added
- Completely recyclable.
Copper and copper alloys are engineering materials that are durable, colourful and recyclable and are widely available in various product forms suitable for a range of manufacturing purposes. Copper and its alloys offer a suite of materials for designers of functional, sustainable and cost-effective products.
Copper and certain copper alloys have intrinsic antimicrobial properties (so-called ‘Antimicrobial Copper’) and products made from these materials have an additional, secondary benefit of contributing to hygienic design. Products made from Antimicrobial Copper are a supplement to, not a substitute for standard infection control practices. It is essential that current hygiene practices are continued, including those related to the cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces.
*Laboratory testing shows that, when cleaned regularly, antimicrobial copper surfaces kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: MRSA, VRE, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7. Antimicrobial copper surfaces are a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection control practices and have been shown to reduce microbial contamination, but do not necessarily prevent cross contamination or infections; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices.