THE Anti-Microbial Story
All soft surfaces in healthcare settings have the potential to harbor micro-organisms. Multiple studies have found pathogenic bacteria on privacy curtains, upholstered furniture, bed linens, and employee uniforms and lab coats.- International Copper Association, 2012
COPPER IN HISTORY
Copper is man's oldest metal, dating back more than 10,000 years. A copper pendant discovered in what is now northern Iraq goes back to about 8700 B.C. Copper has been an essential material to man since pre-historic times. In fact, one of the major "ages" or stages of human history is named for a copper alloy, bronze. Copper and its many alloys have played an important role in many civilizations, from the ancient Egyptians, Romans to modern day cultures around the world. Humans have exploited the inherent antimicrobial properties of copper since the dawn of civilization. Scientific research demonstrates copper's antimicrobial effect and supports its use in applications where control of contamination benefits society, such as healthcare, sports and recreation, heating & air-conditioning and public transport.
All of our MEDSUIT products include COPPER TECHNOLOGY, an innovative antimicrobial that is based on utilizing qualities of copper (elemental #29) by permanently binding its proprietary copper compound to the textile fiber. This proprietary process enables the copper technology to be a homogenous part of the fiber matrix. Copper technology now makes it possible to use these powerful and wide-ranging copper properties in new ways.
Elevated copper levels inside a cell causes oxidative stress and the generation of hydrogen peroxide. Under these conditions, copper participates in the so-called Fenton-type reaction - a chemical reaction causing oxidative damage to cells. Excess copper causes a decline in the membrane integrity of microbes, leading to leakage of specific essential cell nutrients, such as potassium and glutamate. This leads to desiccation and subsequent cell death. While copper is needed for many protein functions, in an excess situation (as on a copper alloy surface), copper binds to proteins that do not require copper for their function. This "inappropriate" binding leads to loss-of-function of the protein, and/ or breakdown of the protein into nonfunctional portions.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officially registered copper alloys, allowing them to be marketed with the label "kills 99.9% of bacteria within two hours." Copper ions are known to penetrate bacteria and disrupt molecular pathways important for their survival.
In the U.S. alone, 2 million people acquire infections in hospitals each year resulting in nearly 100,000 deaths.
-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2012download anti microbial data