UBC and Teck Resources (TSX: TECK.A and TECK.B, NYSE: TECK) have announced progress on programs being funded through Teck’s Copper & Health program including the installation of over 400 antimicrobial patches on high-touch surfaces at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Faculty of Applied Science and research that will further the development of advanced copper coating technology to reduce the spread of infection.
Health Canada-registered copper patches have been installed in public areas on surfaces including door handles and railings in nine UBC Applied Science buildings, Teck said. Manufactured by the Canadian company Coptek Copper Covers, the patches are self-sanitizing adhesive copper covers that are registered with Health Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, proven to continuously kill 99.9% of bacteria on surfaces within two hours of contact.
Antimicrobial copper patches will create a safer work and learning environment for students, faculty and staff due to copper’s natural antimicrobial properties, the company said.
The installations were completed in two phases with 80 patches installed during the first phase in November 2021 followed by 365 in February 2022.
Teck’s Copper and Health program also provided funding to Dr. Amanda Clifford, an Assistant Professor from UBC’s Department of Materials Engineering for research to develop advanced copper coating technology. The new coating is expected to outperform pure copper in terms of reducing the spread of aggressive infections contracted through contaminated surfaces in hospitals and other health care settings. The research results will go through a peer review process and are expected to be released this year.
In addition to the installation in UBC Applied Science buildings, Teck has installed antimicrobial copper covers in Vancouver General Hospital, Lions Gate Hospital and Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital and on transit vehicles for Translink and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).