March 28, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK-Watch how infection-causing bacteria dies on copper surfaces in a live experiment, 9 a.m. EDST, April 4. You will be able to see through a powerful microscope how MRSA, bacteria responsible for numerous hospital-acquired infections and one of the world's deadliest microbes, dies on Antimicrobial Copper touch surfaces.
The experiment, featured in a 20-minute webcast on research sponsored by the New York City-based Copper Development Association (CDA), the International Copper Association and the European Copper Institute, will prove that Antimicrobial Copper is a highly effective touch surface material that kills bacteria responsible for infectious diseases.*
Why Is This Important?
About two million healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) are reported in the U.S. annually resulting in 100,000 deaths. HAIs are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. behind heart disease, cancer and strokes and kill more people than automobile accidents, fires and drowning combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, HAIs account for:
- $47 billion in added health care costs in the U.S., an estimated 208% to each hospital bill, according to the CDC (CDC 2009 Report).
- 19.2 additional hospitals days with bills totaling $43,000 more on average per patients who contract them (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, August 2010 Report)
- A one-in-20 chance of dying for patients who acquire an HAI while hospitalized and a one-in-four chance of death for hospital patients who are infected while in intensive care (Klevens et al, 2007).
Worldwide, more than seven million people suffer from HAIs annually and it is estimated that more than 80% of infectious diseases are transmitted by touch (Tierno, 2001). In addition to the immeasurable personal costs, the World Health Organization estimates the actual costs of HAI deaths to exceed $80 million.
"Antimicrobial copper is part of the solution in the fight against healthcare-acquired infections - it kills 99.9% of bacteria within two hours of exposure," says Harold Michels, CDA senior vice president, technology and technical services. "Our goal is for health care administrators, infectious disease professionals, architects and other health care decision-makers to consider antimicrobial copper as a product that continuously kills bacterial contamination when they're retrofitting or building new facilities."
Professor William Keevil, microbiological researcher and head of Environmental Research at the University of Southampton (UK), will oversee the webcast experiment in which a small amount of liquid containing between 1 - 10 million bacteria (MSRA culture) is placed on both copper and stainless steel surfaces.
As the culture - stained with a green fluorescent dye to make it visible under a microscope - dies off, the fluorescence will diminish. The rate of diminishing fluorescence will be a measure of the antimicrobial power of the surface on which it has been placed. Little or no fade means that the surface has little or no antimicrobial activity; a rapid fade is proof of powerful antimicrobial potency. Images of the cultures will be displayed to participants to witness live. During the webcast, participants are able to interact via a live chat with antimicrobial copper experts.
"Studies have repeatedly shown copper to be an effective antimicrobial material, and support its use in public places to reduce the bacteria that cause infection," Keevil says.
EPA Approval for Public Health Claims
In the U.S., after many years of research, the 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.
Copper Is the Active, Microbe Killing Ingredient
Antimicrobial Copper isn't just pure copper. It's shorthand for a host of copper alloys that can go head-to-head with stainless steel in terms of strength, durability and aesthetics. In addition to their antimicrobial properties, copper alloys are:
- Durable & recyclable.
- Can stand up to harsh environments.
- Can retain details and finish over time.
Register for the Webcast
To register for the April 4 webcast and receive an email reminder, go to: www.antimicrobialtouchsurface.com.
Download Additional Info
Download informational videos and photos of examples of Antimicrobial Copper touch surfaces.
About the European Copper Institute
The European Copper Institute (ECI) is a joint venture between the world's leading mining companies, custom smelters and semi-fabricators (represented by the International Copper Association, Ltd) and the European copper industry. Its mission is to promote copper's benefits to modern society across Europe through its headquarters in Brussels and its network of 11 national Copper Development Associations.
For more information:
Irina Dumitrescu (located in Brussels, Belgium)
European Copper Institute
011 32 473 87 15 00
About the University of Southamptom
The University of Southampton is a leading UK and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship across a wide range of subjects in engineering, science, social sciences, health and humanities. Professor William Keevil, microbiological researcher and the Director of Environmental Healthcare at the University of Southampton, will conduct the study showing the efficacy of antimicrobial copper as a touch surface material.
For more information:
Glenn Harris (located in Southampton, UK)
Public Relations and Media Officer
011 44 23 8059 3212
The Copper Development Association is the information, education, market and technical development arm of the copper, brass and bronze industries in the USA.
Learn more at our Blog thinkcopper.org.
Follow us on Twitter at @ThinkCopperUSA.