TTC vehicles getting antimicrobial copper high-touch surfaces

Bacteria such as MRSA and C. difficile experience a near-total kill rate on copper surfaces after only a few hours

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The TTC is saying ‘Cu’ to germs.

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High-touch surfaces inside Toronto transit vehicles are getting antimicrobial copper coatings, the latest effort to protect riders from transmissible diseases like COVID-19.

The move is part of a trial program funded by Teck Resources Ltd. in applying copper’s natural antimicrobial properties on transit services in both Toronto and Vancouver.

A previous five-week trial program carried out by TransLink in British Columbia tested more than 1,140 samples, finding the copper surfaces are capable of killing up to 99.9% of microbes on transit surfaces.

Copper is a metallic element, found on the periodic table under its chemical symbol Cu and its atomic number of 29.

The antimicrobial properties of copper and its alloys (brass, bronze, cupronickel) have been known since antiquity.

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Bacteria such as MRSA and C. difficile experience a near-total kill rate on copper surfaces after only a few hours, with viruses such as influenza and coronavirus seeing similar results.

Both Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration register copper as a public health product owing to its antimicrobial properties.

Researches from Vancouver Coastal Health and Mount Sinai/University Health Network will be studying the results of this trial.

bpassifiume@postmedia.com
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume

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