Copper-alloy touch surfaces promoted in ME

ICA promotes antimicrobial copper use in the Middle East.

Antimicrobial copper is being punted for its hygiene benefits.
Antimicrobial copper is being punted for its hygiene benefits.

With influenza outbreaks on the rise and the spread of infectious diseases a growing concern for educational institutions, the International Copper Association (ICA) is highlighting the importance of antimicrobial copper in enhancing the well-being of children at schools and nurseries in the Middle East region.

This follows a Tokyo daycare centre leading the way in infection prevention through the use of antimicrobial copper. Mejiro Daycare Centre for Children in Hachioji City in Tokyo, Japan, is meeting parents' demand for a safer environment for their children by using copper-alloy touch surfaces that have inherent antimicrobial activity.

These surfaces continuously kill bacteria and viruses such as Influenza A, E. Coli and MRSA 24/7 between routine cleans, helping to provide a more hygienic environment.

This, along with similar applications in healthcare institutions around the world, follows a clinical trial of antimicrobial copper touch surfaces at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, UK, which showed 90% to 100% less contamination on them than on standard, non-copper surfaces.

Ravinder Bhan, principal consultant of TPS Management Consultants and local ICA representative, said: “The Middle East places special emphasis on public health, especially in the welfare of children.

The use of copper-alloy touch surfaces, as has been demonstrated through their successful application in the Tokyo daycare centre, can serve as a model for healthcare and educational institutions in the Middle East region to promote the well-being of children.

"The antimicrobial properties will reduce the chance of infections among children, and add to their health and safety in schools.”

Mejiro has installed items in brass, an alloy of copper that benefits from its antimicrobial properties, in key areas around the facility.

Handwash basins, taps, food serving tables, serving trolleys and door furniture have been replaced with a view to improving hygiene.

“We had already implemented infection control by introducing air-purification units and ensuring children wash their hands properly, but were still searching for better measures.

"The introduction of copper has given us a great opportunity to educate children and parents about infection prevention,” said director Shoji Hiiragizawa.

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