June 28th, 2013
10:30 AM GMT
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(CNN) – A hospital in Chile is trying to reduce the threat of infections by using equipment, including bed rails and washbasins, made of copper.

A study into effectiveness of copper to kill bacteria is taking place at the Roberto del Rio children’s hospital in Santiago de Chile, and scientists say that the initial results are positive.

Dr Marisol Navarette, in charge of the clinical trials, says: ”The ions of copper interact with the membrane of the bacteria, their metabolism gets disturbed and they are killed by copper.”

The project is spearheaded by Codelco, Chile’s state-run mining company and the biggest copper producer in the world, in partnership with foreign investment.

Chilean company Copper BioHealth already manufactures hospital products made out of the metal, and after the Environmental Protection agency in the U.S. registered copper as an anti-microbial agent, it will have the option to market their products internationally.

Filed under: BusinessGlobal Exchange

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. mariasanteramo059

    Reblogged this on mariasanteramo059.

    June 28, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  2. Jean-Francois Morf

    Whenever I touch a metal with wet fingers, I smell the metal odor on my fingers, for some minutes.
    For copper or brass or bronze, the odor is so strong that I must wash my hands...
    Copper traces kills green life on roof tiles, silver traces kills most bacterias, gold none, stainless steel none.
    For the holy communion, the wine goblet must be silver if the preacher does not want that diseases are transmitted from christians to christians... Gold goblet is inadequate. 60%copper +40%silver alloy has nearly the same color as gold, and kills the copper sensitive bacterias and the silver sensitives bacterias, and cost less then gold...

    June 28, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
  3. Amey

    Makes good sense to use copper in public places.

    June 29, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
  4. JHiggs

    So why are we replacing copper water pipes with PVC?

    (As one who has been seriously infected by waterborne bacteria in the past)

    July 3, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  5. sri

    we hindus in india have been using copper to strore water for ages. in fact there is a ritual where the waters of the River Ganges are selaed in small copper vessels and opened during religious ceremonies. i have a few such at home sealed over 100 years ago

    July 5, 2013 at 5:42 am |
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    July 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
  7. Rodrigo Lastra

    Only to make it more clear: Codelco is completely state run and completely state owned (maybe the project is really mixed), yet there are also private investors in copper mining, like giant "La Escondida" mine of BHP Billiton.

    July 17, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
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    November 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
  11. NYC fitness events

    Incredible! Such a simple answer. This line caught my eye "A study into effectiveness of copper to kill bacteria is taking place at the Roberto del Rio children’s hospital in Santiago de Chile, and scientists say that the initial results are positive."

    February 1, 2014 at 5:25 pm |

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