Witness the Power of Antimicrobial Copper: You’re Invited to a Live Experiment in a Worldwide Webcast - 9 a.m. EDST, April 4

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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. To register for the April 4 webcast and receive an email reminder, go to: http://www.antimicrobialtouchsurface.com.

Copper products can be used to help stop the spread of infections in medical settings.

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

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Watch how infection-causing bacteria dies on copper surfaces in a live experiment, 9 a.m. EDST, April 4. 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.

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.
  •     Wear-resistant.
  •     Can stand up to harsh environments.
  •     Can retain details and finish over time.

*When cleaned regularly, Antimicrobial Copper products kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: MRSA, VRE, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7. For a complete listing of approved EPA public health claims for Antimicrobial Copper products, please visit http://www.AntimicrobialCopper.com.

Download informational videos and photos of examples of Antimicrobial Copper touch surfaces here.

About the Copper Development Association

The Copper Development Association Inc. is the market development, engineering and information services arm of the copper industry, chartered to enhance and expand markets for copper and its alloys in North America.

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Kathleen Bohland

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