Health Tip – June 22 – Copper Sink Fixtures Kill 95 Percent of Superbugs
Many people have long been concerned about the proliferation of antibacterial chemicals in our hand-soaps and household cleaning products – these accumulate in the environment and give rise to ever more virulent “superbugs.”
So you may be pleased to learn of a trial that indicates that making door handles, sink fixtures and light switches from copper could help to keep hospitals sterile.
A study found that copper fittings rapidly killed microbes on hospital wards, succeeding where other infection control measures failed. In the trial at Selly Oak Hospital, in Birmingham, England, copper sink fixtures, toilet seats and push plates on doors all but eliminated common bacteria. Lab tests show that the metal kills off the deadly MRSA and C difficile superbug.
During the ten-week trial on a medical ward, a set of sink fixtures, a lavatory seat and a push plate on an entrance door were replaced with copper versions. They were swabbed twice a day for infectious agents and the results compared with a traditional sink fixture, lavatory seat and push plate elsewhere in the ward.
The copper items had up to 95 per cent fewer germs on their surfaces whenever they were tested.
This is a fascinating study, well worth replicating (this one was funded by the copper industry. If it holds up in future tests, copper surfaces may become the norm in hospitals and even some homes, and our health will be the better for it.