Due to the global pandemic, the importance of reducing the spread of infection spread outside of healthcare gained widespread recognition. Teck supported a pilot project with Translink to test 3 copper alloy on high-volume trains and buses, the first of its kind in North America. Additionally study partners include VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, the University of British Columbia and the Coalition for Healthcare Acquired Infection Reduction (CHAIR).
Results from the industry-leading trial show that copper is effective at killing bacteria on high-touch transit surfaces. Based on sample-testing performed on transit and in a lab, the trial concludes that select copper products on transit are durable and kill up to 99.9 per cent of all bacteria within one hour of the bacteria’s contact with the surface.
We are now developing phase 2 of the study, which will expand the installation of copper on trains and buses; test directly for viruses including corona; and extend the length of the study to simulate one-year of use.
Antimicrobial copper coatings on high-touch transit surfaces are being piloted for their capacity to help reduce the spread of infection
To date, antimicrobial copper has been installed in more than 300 healthcare facilities in 26 countries in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. However; Canada and other countries are behind in adding this germ-killing tool to their arsenal.
Teck has partnered with local hospitals throughout Canada and Chile to support installation of copper-infused surfaces and equipment in emergency rooms, ICUs, medical & surgical centres and other high-infection risk areas to make hospitals safer for patients, employees and visitors.
Each investment includes a full review and assessment of the project to further research on the impact and benefits of copper in reducing HAI.
Partners include Vancouver General Hospital, Lions Gate Hospital and Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in British Columbia, and Iquique Hospital in Chile. We are also engaging with other hospitals to explore potential partnerships.
Copper-infused counters at VGH are helping to reduce HAI infection rates
While there can be a higher up-front cost to install copper surfaces, the payoff can be extraordinary: an investigation by the York Health Economics Consortium in the United Kingdom found that the cost to install antimicrobial copper components in hospitals would be recouped in less than two months due to the decrease in patient infections and reduced length of stay.
Teck has partnered with BC universities to install over 2,000 antimicrobial copper patches on high touch surfaces across campuses in the lower mainland to protect the health of students, staff and visitors. This widespread copper installation supports increased public health and safety across campus and engages students around copper’s potential to create a safer school environment.
Manufactured by the Canadian company Coptek, the Copper Clean™ Antimicrobial Surface Patches are self-sanitizing adhesive copper covers that are applied over high-touch surfaces like door handles to kill surface-borne bacteria. They deliver continuous and ongoing antibacterial action, remaining effective in killing greater than 99.9% of bacteria such as MRSA and E. Coli within two hours. Copper Clean™ Antimicrobial Patches are Health Canada certified as self-sanitizing.