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Infection Control

Live experiment shows effect of antimicrobial copper surfaces

April 11, 2012
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NEW YORK — Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) — the super virulent bacteria that is a leading cause of infections during patient hospitalization — has met its match: Antimicrobial copper, according to a press release.

A live webcast experiment demonstrated that antimicrobial copper effectively kills MRSA within two hours while it readily survives on stainless steel, the release stated.

According to the release, "Antimicrobial copper is part of the solution in the fight against healthcare-acquired infections — it kills 99.9 percent of bacteria within two hours of exposure," said Harold Michels, senior vice president, technology and technical services for the Copper Development Association (CDA).

The experiment was sponsored by the International Copper Association and the European Copper Institute, the release noted.

Professor William Keevil, microbiological researcher and head of Environmental Research at the University of Southampton (UK) who conducted the experiment, noted, "We know that 80 percent of all infections are spread by touch and a contaminated hand will contaminate at least another seven touch surfaces."

In the U.S., after many years of research, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered more than 350 copper-based alloys, such as brass and bronze, as public health antimicrobial products; antimicrobial copper is the only class of solid touch surfaces registered by the EPA to continuously kill bacteria that cause infections and pose a risk to human health, the release added.

Click here to read the complete release.

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