With Canadians’ concern for health and safety in public spaces heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic, Teck has funded the Copper in Transit program to explore the efficacy of antimicrobial copper in public transit.
Phase 1 of this industry-leading project — the first of its kind on a transit system in North America — demonstrated that select copper products killed up to 99.9% of all bacteria in contact with the copper surfaces when installed in select transit vehicles.
During this phase, Teck partnered with TransLink, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, the Coalition for Healthcare Acquired Infection Reduction Canada (CHAIR), and the University of British Columbia (UBC) for the first phase of the trial, which ran for six weeks with the results made public in March 2021.
Phase 2 of the project expanded beyond Metro Vancouver with the added participation of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and the Mount Sinai Hospital/University Network.
Launched in September of 2021, this phase applied antimicrobial copper products to high-touch surfaces on several TTC buses, subway cars, and streetcars, as well as several TransLink buses and SkyTrain cars. Phase 2 will test three types of registered products, including functional copper surface layers, copper alloys, and copper decals, over the course of the year.
Regular bacteria testing (every two months) will be analyzed from copper surfaces as well as non-copper surfaces on transit by Vancouver Coastal Health’ medical microbiology team, supported by Mount Sinai Hospital/University Health Network in Toronto and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. In addition, Vancouver Coastal Health will be conducting laboratory testing on copper’s ability to kill viruses in addition to bacteria.
Antimicrobial copper coatings on high-touch transit surfaces are being piloted for their capacity to help reduce the spread of infection
Teck has partnered with the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) — Canada’s second busiest airport — to become Canada’s first airport to install antimicrobial copper surfaces and equipment.
Launched in May 2022, the project saw nearly 1,000 antimicrobial copper applications installed on baggage carts, water fountains and washrooms throughout the terminal as well as YVR’s offices, with plans to further expand the installation of antimicrobial copper at YVR in the future. This project utilizes Health Canada registered CuVerro Shield™ by Aereus Technologies and Copper Clean by CopTek.
Partnering with Teck’s Copper & Health program adds an extra layer of reassurance to help YVR deliver a safe, healthy and seamless experience for everyone travelling through the airport.