Teck and Partners Test Antimicrobial Copper Coatings in Public Spaces

Teck Resources Limited is partnering with several companies to test antimicrobial copper coatings on high-touch transit surfaces on public transportation in Vancouver, B.C. Photo courtesy of Teck Resources Limited.

Teck Resources Limited (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) has partnered with several local institutions to test antimicrobial copper coatings on high-touch transit surfaces on buses and SkyTrain in Vancouver. Tech’s partners in this endeavor are TransLink, Vancouver Coastal Health, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, Coalition for Healthcare Acquired Infection Reduction (CHAIR), and the University of British Columbia.

Through its Copper & Health Program, Teck has sought to promote the use of antimicrobial copper surfaces in health care and public spaces. This latest antimicrobial copper coating project is the first of its kind on a transit system in North America, according to the company, and is based on research that shows copper alloy surfaces eliminate up to 99.9% of harmful bacteria and viruses.

Fully funded by Teck, the pilot project will run for an initial phase of four weeks with various copper surfaces installed on two buses on high-ridership routes and two SkyTrain cars. In addition, the company will test an organosilane surface preservative that can potentially control and/or prevent the growth of microorganisms on treated surfaces.

“We are proud to be working with all the partners on this important pilot project to expand the use of antimicrobial copper in high-traffic public areas and prevent infections,” says Don Lindsay, president and CEO of Teck. “Through the Copper & Health program, Teck has been partnering with healthcare professionals, academia and others for years to help make communities safer. This pilot builds on those efforts at a critical time as the world works to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

“This project builds on preceding research and will increase our understanding of the effectiveness of copper in killing organisms on frequently-touched surfaces. Positive findings will then be used to study the impact of copper on bacteria and viruses such as COVID-19 and norovirus,” adds Dr. Marthe Charles, medical microbiologist at Vancouver Coastal Health. “This holds future infection control benefits not only for the public in their travels but for healthcare workers and patients who navigate their medical journey at Vancouver Coastal Health and beyond.”

To see a video of the Teck pilot program, click here.

Source: Teck Resources Limited, www.teck.com.