Thursday, March 11, 2010

Copper-the bacteria killer. Who knew!

Sometimes microbes that cling onto things can and do migrate to uninfected people and make them sick. This is especially true in hospitals. Due to the use, overuse and abuse of antibiotics and antimicrobials, hospitals have become literally breeding grounds for super microbes that are resistant to any type of treatment. Stubborn little buggers!
Have you ever really looked around in hospitals?  Stainless steel door handles, elevator buttons, faucet handles, stair railings, garbage cans, and bed rails just to name a few. Germs love to play on these items just waiting for one of us to come by and touch it. Perfect for the germs to attack and make you sick. Did you hear that? That was my stomach turning upside down...uuggg. I walk around with my hands in my pocket and try my best to not touch anything. If I do have to touch I use my sleeve instead.  I get some strange looks but hey, what are the chances of them seeing me ever again? Exactly.
Copper, bronze and brass all have antimicrobial properties. There was a study conducted in 2000, at the Centre for Applied Microbiology & Research (CAMR) in the U.k,, found that the dangerous Mr.Ecoli strain survived for much shorter periods of time on copper and brass surfaced than it did on stainless steel. Researchers also found that Mr.Ecoli survived for 34 days on stainless steel. Holy cow!  The bacteria lived for four days on brass, and just four hours on copper. Now researchers are telling hospitals to use copper metals on door knobs, push plates, fittings, fixtures and work surfaces which would reduce the risk of cross contamination between staff and patients in critical care area's. If its good for the hospitals, its good for me.
We will be doing a overhaul in my kitchen here in a few weeks. To keep with the style and period of our home we will be keeping our sturdy cabinets but repainting them. Counters will be replaced with granite and flooring will be bamboo. We will be adding knobs and things and you bet we will be using copper. Yes it will be more expensive but it will be beautiful and keep those pesky germs and Mr.Ecoli away from us. If we cannot afford copper then the next option is brass. This doesn't make me happy because I think polished brass is just ugly and screams 1980 to me. No thanks! So we will be looking for antiqued brass. Its no copper but still a better option than stainless steel. I'm sure pictures will follow. Did you look closely at the picture? Oh how I dream of having that sink. I was looking for a good picture of copper knobs and ran across this picture. Long story short I ended up looking at copper kitchen things for an hour. My poor husband thinks this means were gonna be broke.  Too funny. 

Once again information was gathered from Green Barbarians by Ellen Sandbeck. This book has really opened my eyes to so many things. Even me, paranoid greenoholic, was just taken back by all the great useful information. Its a must read.

No comments: