Teck Sees Uptick in BC Facilities Teaming Up to Install Its Antimicrobial Copper | Radio NL

Highland Valley copper mine near Lake Logan. (Photo via Brett Mineer)

More and more facilities and organizations across British Columbia are installing antimicrobial copper on high-touch surfaces.

Teck has developed a copper health and safety program, in which resources come from the Highland Valley mine, located just outside Kamloops.

Since implementing the program, Teck has partnered with several hospitals, airports, transit, universities, and now daycare centers to install this antimicrobial copper in their spaces.

Teck’s community development manager, Catherine Adair, explains that they made a donation to the new Learn and Laugh Daycare Center in Logan Lake so they could implement the infection to fight copper.

“If you think the kids in daycare are running around, they’re touching all kinds of things, there’s a lot of germs spreading. It is therefore the first daycare in Canada to include antimicrobial copper on high-touch surfaces to help protect children, protect workers and protect their families. »

She explains that the properties of copper have been proven to eliminate up to 99.9% of harmful bacteria in two hours.

Adair claims it is the only solid metal touch surface that is a registered public health product by Health Canada as well as the USEPA.

“It has proven that hospitals and public health spaces can use health claims to know they are keeping their users safe.”

However, she tells NL Morning News that it’s not a replacement for disinfecting and cleaning, but rather an added layer of protection.

“During the pandemic, we learned to wash our hands a lot and wear a mask; you did neither, you did both,” Adair said.

“It’s an opportunity, even if you have the proper cleaning protocols in place at a hospital, airport or daycare, you can also miss little corners. You can’t do the cleaning between each time a surface is touched, whereas copper is constantly working to kill any bacteria or germs that are on its surface and helps keep us safe all the time.

Adair says the antimicrobial properties of copper have been generally known for about a millennium, but the science really started about 20 years ago.

“This is where the real scientific research really started to take off. Much of this research was undertaken by the medical microbiology team at Vancouver General Hospital and we were able to partner with them and formed the Teck Copper and Health program, realizing the benefits of antimicrobial copper, especially in healthcare, especially in public spaces and how exactly the lack of awareness meant that this solution was not being implemented as effectively as it could have been. »

Adair thinks the renewed interest in antimicrobial copper is just the beginning.

“Our goal is for antimicrobial copper to become common use across Canada in healthcare and public spaces. It’s been proven to reduce the spread of infections, it’s a tool that exists and we should all use it in our public spaces.

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