One study will focus on the ability of copper metals to kill deadly pathogens on high-touch surfaces in hospital facilities in
Recent peer-reviewed research conducted at the
Microbial growth on common high-touch surfaces is of increasing concern to healthcare facilities. According to Dr. Harold Michels, vice president of technical and information services for CDA and the studies' principal investigator, "A positive outcome to these studies will provide hospitals with solid information on an additional method of combating increasing infection rates and controlling virulent, antibiotic-resistant pathogens, such as MRSA, within their environment."
The touch surfaces study will employ a series of three clinical trials to 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 will be measured using three indicator organisms: MRSA, vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and Acinetobacter baumannii, of particular concern since the beginning of the Iraq War. The surfaces involved in the study are typically made of stainless steel or plastic, which have little or no effect in controlling pathogens.
The studies will be conducted at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in
A congressionally funded companion study will compare copper air conditioning system components, including cooling coils, heat exchange fins and drip pans, with components made of aluminum as to their ability to control the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. The trials are designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of copper surfaces in reducing the colonization of HVAC systems by harmful microbes and reducing exposure to these organisms throughout the buildings served by the systems. Laboratory studies are taking place at the
Michels says, "The results of these real-world trials should encourage a leap forward in the design of HVAC systems and make a major contribution to the reduction of Sick Building Syndrome and the improvement of indoor air quality."
Source: Copper Development Association