Outsourced janitorial services can help alleviate the cost of replacing gripping surfaces in health clubs and medical equipment in hospitals with copper–recently established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a superior method of resisting surface contamination.
Outsourced Janitorial Services Combined With Copper Surfaces Improve Infection Control
High-contact surfaces constructed from copper alloys is one of the few antimicrobial products NOT prevented for use, outside of a clinical or hospital environment.
According to a recent article published by EOScu (Cupron Enhanced EOS);
Copper is becoming a well-known biocide, with copper alloy fixtures and sheets as well as copper-infused surfaces (EOSCU being the sole copper-infused surface) demonstrating clinical and real-world efficacy against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.
Copper and EOSCU are also registered with the EPA for public health claims.
Therefore, copper and copper-infused EOSCU meet the two requirements under the Safer Chemical Challenge and are not banned by Kaiser Permanente or any other health system or hospital.
In addition to meeting the requirements of the Safer Chemical Challenge, copper has no deleterious effects on people or the environment.
As an essential metal, it is required by the human body for several key functions, and our bodies are well-equipped to process and use copper. .
However, copper is susceptible to damage from chlorine, commonly found in bleach, and the cost of replacing or retrofitting high-touch surfaces and equipment in hospitals and health clubs can be cost-prohibitive.
Fortunately, green cleaning products are non-abrasive, do not contain chlorine, and are cost-effective enough to offset the expense of upgrading to copper alloy surfaces, especially when the additional health benefits of eliminating the use of toxic cleaning chemicals, combined with the reduction of surface germs and bacteria, are realized.
Copper In Health Care Environments
Copper is naturally antimicrobial.
According to the American Journal of Infection Control;
Copper alloys can mitigate the bacterial burden on high-touch surfaces.
Strategically placing copper alloys in areas of high human contact can augment infection control efforts and potentially decrease community-acquired infections in athletic centers.
Copper has been certified by the EPA as resistant to:
- Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
- Staphylococcus Aureus (Staph)
- Enterobacter Aerogenes
- Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, and;
- Escherichia Coli (E. coli)
Additionally, the findings from a recent bactericidal copper study, conducted by Grinnell College, concluded that:
- Copper surfaces consistently showed a significantly lower bacterial count than other test-control surfaces.
- The copper surfaces maintained a consistently high level of clean in clinical environments for both occupied and unoccupied rooms, and;
- Vacant, terminally cleaned rooms remained at or below the cleanliness threshold of less than 250 colony forming units of microorganisms per 100cm2.
- Conversely, rooms that did not contain copper surfaces, but that were terminally cleaned, quickly recontaminated and exceeded the cleanliness threshold, even when they were unoccupied.
Copper in Health Club Environments
Copper alloys are also extremely beneficial in the construction of high-touch surfaces in health club equipment.
Additional research conducted by the EPA and published by Cuverro found that:
- Copper alloy surfaces kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria within two hours of initial contamination, all day, every day, and;
- The copper surfaces do not break down, and so sanitation efficacy is assured for the lifetime of the equipment.
The tests showed a marked reduction in contamination levels on commonly used gym equipment when compared to control surfaces, including;
- A 94% reduction of machine attachments.
- A 92% reduction on barbell surfaces.
- A 97% reduction on dumbells, and;
- An 88% reduction on kettlebell handles.
Green Cleaning Tips
As previously discussed, chlorine, commonly found in bleach, has an adverse and corrosive effect on copper.
Investing in green cleaning products and services early on will help offset the cost of upgrading or replacement, and significantly add to the overall health benefits of your gym or hospital by following three simple steps:
- Invest in an EPA Category IV disinfectant.
- Replace all cotton, cloth, or sponge towels, mops, and other cleaning equipment with microfiber, and;
- Implement the two-bucket cleaning method.
References & Resources
- Copper in fitness centers reduces bacteria
- The bacteria-fighting super element that’s making a comeback in hospitals: copper
- How Germy Is Your Gym?
Copper is a cost-effective, naturally occurring antimicrobial agent that can significantly improve the safety of equipment used in hospitals and health clubs by reducing the germ and bacteria count on high-contact surfaces, which has been directly tied to preventable illness and death, specifically in clinical environments.
While the cost of upgrading may appear to be prohibitive, the associated reduction in health care costs, occupant health, and customer satisfaction will quickly outweigh any initial investment objections, in favor of increased profitability.
However, copper surfaces do require a marginal level of specialized care to avoid deterioration, and the documented cost-benefits of green cleaning products and services can help quickly offset investment costs and reduce the time to a profitable return on investment.
If you would like to learn more about the advantages of copper surfaces in gyms and hospitals, or how outsourcing your organization’s janitorial services can help alleviate the cost of switching, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 437-3253
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