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Congressional Funds Awarded for Testing of Antimicrobial Copper Metals
Date:11/15/2007

>The clinical trials follow peer-reviewed research conducted at the University of Southampton in the U.K. proving copper, brass and bronze can quickly and efficiently eradicate several different pathogens which are the source of many hospital-acquired infections. Estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that infections acquired in U.S. hospitals affect some two million individuals every year, resulting in nearly 100,000 deaths annually and costing the healthcare industry some $30 billion. It is widely believed those numbers will grow, unless more effective measures are implemented.

The touch surfaces trials will determine how well natural copper, brass and bronze surfaces mitigate infectious microbes, decrease cross-contamination and ultimately help reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired infections in patients. Rates of infection are being measured using three indicator organisms: MRSA, vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and Acinetobacter baumannii. The surfaces involved in the study are typically made of coated carbon steel, aluminum, stainless steel or plastic, which have little or no effect in controlling pathogens.

The studies are being conducted at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, the Medical University of South Carolina and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medial Center, both in Charleston, South Carolina. Previous studies were conducted by ATS Labs in Eagan, Minnesota, under test protocols established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They show solid copper alloys are more than 99.9% effective on five pathogens commonly found in healthcare facilities. The tests have been submitted to EPA as part of a registration process to secure approval for making human health claims for the copper metals.

The companion study compares copper air-conditioning system components, including heat exchangers and drip pans, with components made of aluminum as to their ability to control the g
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SOURCE Copper Development Association
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