VANCOUVER – Teck Resources Ltd. [TECK.B, TECK.A-TSX; TECK-NYSE] reported results from TransLink’s industry-leading trial show that copper is effective at killing bacteria on high-touch surfaces on transit vehicles in the Vancouver, British Columbia area.
Based on sample testing performed on transit and in a lab, the trial concludes that select copper products on transit are durable and kill up to 99.9% of all bacteria within one hour of the bacteria’s contact with the surface.
Phase 1 of the pilot, which was fully financed by Teck, began in November, 2020, and lasted five weeks on two buses and two SkyTrain cars. To expand on the Phase 1 results, a second phase will be launched in the coming months to verify the results with a larger sample of data.
The pilot’s second phase will include testing copper products on more train cars and buses; testing over a longer amount of time to analyze varied conditions; focused tests on the products that were most effective in the transit environment; and public engagement to measure copper’s impact on customer confidence.
TransLink was the first transit agency in North America to test copper on transit surfaces. The pilot was launched as part of TransLink’s COVID-19 response through the Safe Operating Action Plan because of preceding studies showing that copper is both durable and effective at killing bacteria. Pilot results could help inform decision making for TransLink and other transit agencies across the globe. The research could also benefit any industry that relies on shared public spaces.
The pilot is the result of a partnership between TransLink, Teck, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), the University of British Columbia (UBC), and the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. The initial phase was fully financed by Teck, as part of its Copper & Health program. The second phase will also be supported by Teck.
The two products that performed best in the transit environment are the copper decals and the copper-nickel plasma sprays. Copper is the only solid-metal touch surface registered as a public health product by Health Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proved to naturally eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. Throughout the first phase of the trial, more than 1,140 samples were collected and analyzed.
The microbiological testing methodology was developed and performed by Vancouver Coastal Health at Vancouver General Hospital.