June 28th, 2013
10:30 AM GMT
(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.
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