SANTIAGO – Teck Resources Limited (TSX: TECK.A and TECK.B, NYSE: TECK) announced today that it is expanding its Copper and Health program to Chile, partnering with leading national health professionals and academics on a pilot project at the Iquique Hospital.
Researchers from Universidad del Desarrollo (UDD) and Núcleo Milenio MICROB-R, with funding from Teck, will conduct a study of copper surfaces and textiles to assess copper’s ability to decrease the incidence of in-hospital infections.
Copper alloy surfaces are naturally antimicrobial with self-sanitizing properties, with research showing that these surfaces eliminate up to 99.9% of harmful bacteria and viruses that cause infection, including bacteria with high antibiotic resistance. Additionally, copper is safe for people and the environment and is the only solid metal contact surface registered as a public health product by Health Canada and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
“It is an honor for Teck to launch our Copper & Health program now in Chile, partnering with leading national health professionals and academics in this first research at the Iquique Hospital, which will increase understanding of the efficacy of copper and its antimicrobial characteristics helping to reduce in-hospital infections in our country,” said Amparo Cornejo, Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Affairs, Teck Chile.
The research will be carried out at the Regional Hospital of Iquique, with results expected in the second half of 2021.
Through its Copper & Health program, Teck is working with partners across Canada and beyond to increase the use of copper-infused surfaces in healthcare and public spaces to reduce the spread of infections. When installed on high touch surfaces, copper is a proven killer of bacteria and viruses, reducing the spread of infection and improving health outcomes. There is no commercial benefit to Teck from the increased use of antimicrobial copper as the amount of metal needed is very small; the goal of the program is to improve health and safety for communities.