Two kindergartens in Athens are leading a movement to replace frequently-touched surfaces in schools with equivalents made from copper alloys that will continuously kill germs, helping reduce the spread of infection between children and staff.
26th April 2016
The new surfaces—chosen for upgrade as they were the most often touched, by the most people—include door and furniture handles, tap handles, light switches and coat hooks. They were manufactured and installed by Convex and Medical Development, local suppliers of Antimicrobial Copper products complying with Copper Alliance’s Cu+ stewardship scheme.
Gregory Konstantellos, Mayor of the Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni Municipality where the installations took place, explains: ‘It’s an important step for our municipality to establish precautionary public health measures to protect our children. Installing antimicrobial copper surfaces is a simple but very effective way of reducing the spread of infection.’
32 other schools in the region are beginning the process of selecting surfaces for upgrade to antimicrobial copper, which will work alongside good hand hygiene and regular, thorough cleaning to curtail the spread of disease-causing germs.
Copper is a powerful antimicrobial with rapid, broad-spectrum efficacy against bacteria and viruses, and has been shown to kill the pathogens that cause infections, including Influenza A, E.coli and norovirus. It shares this benefit with a range of copper alloys—such as brasses and bronzes—forming a family of materials collectively called ‘antimicrobial copper’.
Touch surfaces made from solid antimicrobial copper are already used in hospitals and care homes around the world to reduce the spread of infections, supporting key infection control measures such as good hand hygiene and regular surface cleaning and disinfection. They are also seeing use in other spaces where people gather and infections spread, such as schools, gyms and transport hubs including airports, train and bus stations.
For more information, visit www.antimicrobialcopper.org.
For more information and high-resolution images, contact:
Copper Development Association
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.