By Adam Matusz: Vice President Trimco Hardware
As early as 2600 B.C., Egyptians were using copper to heal wounds and purify drinking water. They seemed to know what modern humans are just starting to appreciate – that copper is an effective bactericide.
In fact, how copper kills the bacteria that are responsible for over 100,000 Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) every year is a relatively simple process. Without going into too much science, all cells include an outer membrane held together by a steady, electro micro-current. When a cell comes in contact with copper, the copper disrupts that current, causing tiny holes in the membrane. These holes allow vital nutrients to escape from the cell, eventually destroying the cell. This effect begins immediately, and can last for up to two hours. (Here’s a good link to learn more about how copper works to kill bacteria: http://antimicrobialcopper.com/us/scientific-proof/how-it-works.aspx)
Tests have shown that copper – as well as similar alloys like bronze and brass – kills up to 99% of bacteria that come into contact with the copper surface. This is terrific news for hospital and medical care facilities, since many serious and even deadly infections are spread through direct contact with contaminated surfaces such as door handles, pulls and push plates.
One company is making significant strides in helping hospital and medical care facilities fight the spread of deadly bacteria. Trimco manufactures a full portfolio of high performance architectural hardware designed for healthcare, education and commercial facilities that help reduce the spread of bacteria and associated illnesses. The product line is called Healthy Hardware™, and it has already been proven effective in hospital environments. Learn more at http://www.trimcohardware.com/products/healthy-hardware/.
The Healthy Hardware™ products are manufactured from specially formulated copper alloys that are registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) When cleaned regularly, these copper alloys have been proven to kill 99.9% of the most virulent bacteria like e-coli, MRSA and Staph. This is not a coating, but rather an all-natural, solid copper-based alloy that will last for the life of the product.
If the simple act of updating door hardware within a hospital or medical facility to copper-based door pulls, push plates, push bars and other door hardware that can reduce the spread of bacteria and lower the number of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs), why isn’t every facility making this a priority? Let’s hope this simple-to-execute, cost effective solution becomes an urgent, worldwide initiative in the very near future.