Author: Andrew Weil, M.D.
I 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 I was pleased to learn of atrial 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 microbeson 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 superbugs.
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 pushplate elsewhere in the ward.
The copper items had up to 95 per cent fewer germs on their surfaces whenever they were tested.