Teck Resources Limited [TSX-TECK.A, TECK.B; NYSE-TECK] announced it is partnering with TransLink, Vancouver Coastal Health, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, Coalition for Healthcare Acquired Infection Reduction, and the University of British Columbia to test antimicrobial copper coatings on high-touch transit surfaces on buses and SkyTrain in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Copper alloy surfaces are naturally antimicrobial with self-sanitizing properties, with research showing that these surfaces eliminate up to 99.9% of harmful bacteria and viruses.
This project is the first of its kind on a transit system in North America and the latest in Teck’s ongoing efforts to promote the use of antimicrobial copper surfaces in healthcare and public spaces through its Copper & Health Program.
The pilot project, fully funded by Teck, 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. An organosilane surface preservative will also be tested that has the potential to 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,” said Don Lindsay, President and CEO, 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,” said 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.”
Teck is a significant producer of copper.