Mass Transit

Every morning, in rush hour, over 1 million commuters use public transport in central London alone. Antimicrobial Copper continuously kills microbes on mass transit touch surfaces.

Mass transit touch surfaces are optimal reservoirs for infectious microbes1 . Close quarters and crowded conditions make the spread of bacteria all too easy for billions of commuters worldwide.

In addition to the impact on public health and safety, contaminated mass transit surfaces may affect productivity and attendance. Community outbreaks of infections and illnesses can be amplified by rapid transfer fuelled by ideal conditions in public transportation leading to absenteeism and decreased passenger numbers.

In Mexico City, government officials threatened to shut down all public transportation in response to an outbreak of the H1N1 virus.

According to the US Dept of Transportation: "A severe pandemic flu may cause extended absences for essential workers… During a severe pandemic influenza, workforce absenteeism may range from 25 to 40 percent."

Typical subway and bus grab rails made of stainless steel appear clean, but harmful organisms can survive on stainless steel for months2. Antimicrobial Copper kills 99.9% of deadly bacteria* within 2 hours of exposure.

Antimicrobial Copper grab rails and other touch surfaces provide commuters with an added line of defence against infectious microbes that thrive in mass transit environments.

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.


  1. Bacterial contamination on touch surfaces in the public transport system and in public areas of a hospital in London. Otter, J.A. and French, G.L. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 49: 803–805. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-765X.2009.02728.x, 2009.
  2. How long do nosocomial pathogens persist on inanimate surfaces? A systematic review. BMC Infectious Diseases 6:130. Kramer et al. 2006.

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