Part of my primary role at the CDA, I am focused on “taking the copper message to the market” and educating architects, designers, plumbers and environmentalists on copper advancements. I have exhibited at various conferences most recently, the HCD conference in Las Vegas, SETAC in Portland, OR. Another part of my job has been to manage our consultant, Ron Blank & Associates that hosted 40+ antimicrobial education seminars across the US. With every opportunity to meet other industry professionals, I am able to introduce copper and its advanced antimicrobial properties.
For example, while exhibiting at the Heathcare Design Conference in Las Vegas, the CDA staff and I heard from design professionals that questioned the efficacy of nano-silver or silver-ion based antimicrobial technology. Several architects related their concern that expensive silver-ion based coatings wear off and quickly need replacement. Copper proved to be a great alternative for them, by its durability and ability to kill bacteria, unlike silver-ion coatings, which only protect surfaces and not the person (note that research has shown that silver-ion coatings are only antimicrobial at high temperatures (above 98 F) and at high humidity).
In addition, at the same conference a manufacturer of plastic-coated healthcare cabinetry that employs Microban, another popular antimicrobial additive, stated that he was aware of his current material’s inability to kill bacteria. After meeting with the CDA, he’s looking forward to using copper alloys in a new product, while phasing out his Microban coated cabinetry.
Bay Architects, a Texas firm that specializes in school design, expressed interest in outfitting a local Texas school in copper based touch surfaces. Bay Architects wanted to design a structure with copper water coolers, door hardware, soap dispensers and locker rooms to aide in stopping the spread of MRSA and other bacteria. For additional information about Bay Architects projects, please see http://www.bayarchitects.com/projects.aspx
We look forward in 2011 to meeting new conference and seminar attendees and introducing them to the “copper world”. Our Building and Construction Team Meeting mid-January will outline our program for the upcoming year. Check out Copper.org for calendar details. To find out more about the antimicrobial properties of copper or for questions about working with copper, soldering or designing – - please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m available for consultation and to offer advice in copper continuing education at WSeale@cda.copper.org. For more information about copper’s antimicrobial properties, please visit antimicrobialcopper.com.