At Health+Care, an innovative technology for boosting infection prevention is being showcased for the care home market: antimicrobial copper. With rapid, proven efficacy against a broad range of pathogens, touch surfaces made from solid antimicrobial copper offer a more hygienic environment without the need for a change in staff behaviour.
29th June 2016
Copper rapidly destroys germs that can be picked up, unseen, from frequently-touched surfaces in the environment, potentially causing an illness. These include bacteria, such as E. coli and viruses, such as influenza and the ‘winter vomiting bug’, norovirus. Fewer germs on surfaces mean less risk of infections spreading between people touching them.
Copper shares its antimicrobial efficacy with over 500 copper alloys—including brass and bronze—creating a large family of metals collectively called antimicrobial copper. Genuine antimicrobial copper products bear a Cu+ mark, showing they are made from approved, solid copper alloys with antimicrobial efficacy backed by scientific research. These hygienic properties last their full lifetime, as there is no coating or surface treatment to scratch off or wear away.
Co-exhibiting on the Antimicrobial Copper stand are three manufacturers of Cu+ approved products. Pegler Yorkshire offer TMV and WRAS approved antimicrobial copper taps. Sturge supply antimicrobial copper ball chain—in gold and silver colours—to be used for blind and light pulls, plug chains and more. Varilight offer a wide range of switches, sockets and dimmers in antimicrobial copper, which are also available from Screwfix.
Touch surfaces made from solid antimicrobial copper are used by hospitals, care homes, schools, mass transit hubs, sports facilities and offices around the world to boost other hygiene measures, such as hand washing, cleaning and disinfection, to help reduce the spread of infections.
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.