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Misclassification of Copper: What the Scientific Studies Say (Part II)

April 4th, 2014 No comments

By Joe Gorsuch, Copper Development Association (CDA), Manager, Health, Environment and Sustainable Development, and Dr. Joe Meyer, ARCADIS Technical Expert

Architects and building construction professionals in recent years have been increasingly concerned about using copper as a building material and have incorrectly classified it as a “chemical of concern,” although it is not included in the official list identified by the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency. We believe architects, developers and contractors have incorrectly moved toward a decision-making process based on potential hazards, rather than risks. We’ll explore what the scientific evidence shows in this blog. Read more…

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Copper’s Inherent Ability to Kill Bugs

March 13th, 2013 No comments

By Victoria Prather, Manager, Communications CDA

During this terrible cold and flu season, everyone has been very leery about touching surfaces or shaking hands –and who can blame them? We hear about constant outbreaks of so many different ailments and now, “super bugs” that are resistant to treatments every day, all over the news. Read more…

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CDA Webinar Raises Awareness of Antimicrobial Copper

January 4th, 2012 No comments

By Larry Peters, CDA Project Manager and Architectural Applications Specialist

Last month Larry Peters, Copper Development Association (CDA) project manager and architectural applications specialist, hosted a webinar in advance of the HEALTHCARE DESIGN conference in Nashville. More than 3,600 health care engineering, design and architectural professionals attended last week’s conference. Read more…

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MRSA Alert Issued at Long Island, NY High School

October 7th, 2011 No comments

By Wilton Moran, CDA Project Engineer

Headlines announcing new cases of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are always unsettling for the public, as MRSA can be a deadly infection.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) an estimated 85% of the most serious MRSA infections are associated with a healthcare exposure, nearly 14% of the infections are community-associated.  While frightening, each case announced presents an opportunity to further educate Americans about this important public health issue. A new case of the staph bacteria that does not respond to some antibiotics commonly used to treat staph infections was recently confirmed at a New York area high school, causing the school district to distribute an alert to parents and students. As stated by the CDC, MRSA Infections are usually spread by having contact with someone’s skin infection or personal items they have used, like towels, bandages, or razors that touched their infected skin. MRSA can also be transferred from person to person through public touch surfaces such railings and door handles. Read more…

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An Update: Achieving Class A Designation for Fire Safety

May 13th, 2010 No comments

Craig Thompson - 1By Craig Thompson, Copper Development Association, Project Manager & Architectural Applications Specialist

Craig Thompson is an Illinois-registered architect.  He holds a graduate degree in architecture and, in 1972, began working in construction on residential, commercial and retail projects.  He joined the CDA in 1992, working primarily with architects.  He provides them with information for working with copper, including design assistance and help locating products and installers.

I recently attended hearings of the International Code Council (ICC) on the subject of copper roofing and fire ratings.  Some Building codes exist to enable architects and builders to specify the level of fire safety of the materials chosen for new construction – Class A, Class B or Class C.  For example, if someone building a home in an area of California where there are brush fires wanted to do something extra to protect the home, they would go with Class A materials.  For decades there was an exception for copper in the building code because it had always been considered non-combustible. Read more…

Clinical Trial Results Presented at the Fifth-Decennial Conference on Healthcare-Acquired Infections (Part 2 of 2)

April 30th, 2010 No comments

By Wilton Moran, Copper Development Association Project Engineer, Material Sciences 

Last month, CDA and a team of researchers presented clinical trial results in a poster session at the Fifth Decennial International Conference on Healthcare-Associated Infections. These trials, which are funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, assessed the ability of Antimicrobial Copper to reduce the amount of bacteria on surfaces commonly found in hospital rooms. More than 3,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses, infection preventionists and other health care decision-makers attended the conference. The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC) and the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) sponsored the conference.

It was important for us to create a buzz at the conference because people just don’t know enough yet about the work we’re doing. We got the EPA registration in 2008 and currently have clinical trials going on at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, the Medical University of South Carolina and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, both of which are in Charleston, S.C.

The first phase of the study showed that the most heavily contaminated objects are those closest to patients, such as bed rails, nurse’s call buttons and visitor chair arms. The study found high levels of Staphylococcus aureus, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) on those common objects. We know these bacteria can survive for long periods of time, so these contaminated surfaces can spread bacteria to people – patients, visitors and health care workers.

On the poster, findings from the second phase of the trial were presented. This phase involved replacing stainless steel and plastic versions of bed rails, tray tables, chair arms, nurse’s call buttons, monitors and IV poles with copper in the ICU rooms of the three hospitals participating in the study. The results attracted a lot of attention.

Researchers, who are specialists in infectious diseases, were very interested in our work. Many stopped by our booth, provided their contact information and requested periodic updates on the progress of the program. People from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were also interested in what we had to say. We also had several visitors from the CDC. When we first started this work, we learned that CDC needed to see a large body of published research papers in the public domain. At the conference we saw their interest and at this point, we know we’re getting their attention and they’re taking us more seriously.

 There’s much more recognition now of the role of surface contamination in hospital-acquired infections. That’s a huge plus for us because obviously if they think that’s a problem, health care decision-makers may consider antimicrobial surfaces in the future.

 If you’d like more information on the antimicrobial properties of copper, check out our brand website, Antimicrobial Copper.

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