Counting On Copper (Climate of Health)

Copper’s roots run deep in Arizona. So deep, it is one of our state’s original five C’s (copper, cattle, cotton, citrus, and climate).

Today – copper is getting a new look… a potential lifesaver! From the Arizona Republic:

“Replacing commonly touched hospital surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches and bed rails with products made of copper can reduce hospital-acquired infections by more than half, according to a 2013 clinical trial at three U.S. hospitals funded by the Department of Defense.”

According to the Washington Post, at least 15 hospitals across the country have installed, or are considering installing, copper components on “high-touch” surfaces…..including the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Goodyear. Click on the video below to hear an infection control practitioner talk about what copper is doing for patients and staff at the facility.


In short, copper is inherently antimicrobial and is able to continuously kill greater than 99.9% of bacteria that cause hospital-acquired infections within 2 hours.

According to the CDC, one in 25 patients picks up a hospital acquired infection, which translates to more than 600,000 hospital patients each year (and approximately 100,000 deaths). Still, replacing steel or plastic with copper is often seen as costly, which is one of the reasons many facilities have not yet made the switch to copper.

Do the benefits outweigh the cost? Share your thoughts on this as we continue to look for new ways to encourage better health which, in turn, helps us reach our vision to one day make Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!


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