World First: Antimicrobial Copper Ducts Installed in US Operating Theatres

Copper ducting in the University of Miami Lennar Foundation Medical Center

In a world first, the University of Miami Lennar Foundation Medical Center has installed antimicrobial copper ductwork throughout its eight operating theatres.

11 April 2017

The University of Miami chose copper—manufactured by US company Polar Air—to take advantage of its well-known antimicrobial properties, helping to suppress the growth of mould, mildew and bacteria that cause odours, damage systems and reduce their efficiency. This is particularly beneficial for controlled air spaces such as operating theatres.

‘We always look to harness the latest proven technologies to benefit our patients, and copper fits that ethos well,’ explains Ron Bogue, AVP at the University of Miami.

‘Alongside the benefits offered to patients and staff, the best aspect of the copper ductwork is that it doesn’t cost any more than rigid duct, with insulation,’ adds Jon Bell, President of Polar Air Supply. ‘You get the added hygienic benefits of copper for no extra cost. It’s a no-brainer.’

Copper, and copper alloys benefiting from the metal’s inherent antimicrobial properties, are familiar engineering materials that perform their primary function—delivering durable materials that meet the demands of HVAC systems—with the additional benefit of continuously suppressing the growth of bacteria, mould and mildew.

The University of Miami is pioneering the use of copper in HVAC, joining other facilities worldwide already adding antimicrobial copper touch surfaces to their arsenal of infection prevention and control measures. For more information on antimicrobial copper—including case studies—visit www.antimicrobialcopper.org.
 

For further information, contact:

Bryony Samuel
Communications Officer
Copper Development Association
bryony.samuel@copperalliance.org.uk

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.

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