VANCOUVER – The University of British Columbia (UBC) and Teck Resources Ltd. [TECK.A, TECK.B-TSX; TECK-NYSE] have made significant progress on programs being financed through Teck’s Copper and Health program, including the installation of over 400 anti-microbial patches on high-touch surfaces at the UBC Faculty of Applied Science and research that will further the development of advanced copper coating technology to reduce the spread of infection.
Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck, stated, “Teck is proud to partner with UBC Applied Science on this installation of anti-microbial copper in high-traffic spaces to create a safer environment for students and staff. Thank you to the UBC Applied Science and materials engineering department for their leadership in conducting research to advance technology for anti-microbial copper surfaces which will support making our communities safer.”
James Olson, Dean, UBC Faculty of Applied Science, said, “It’s important that we work with industry leaders like Teck, who display a commitment to innovation and sustainability. When we work together, we’re able to quicken our research and see its impact in the real world.”
Health Canada-registered copper patches have been installed in public areas on surfaces, including door handles and railings in nine UBC Applied Science buildings. Manufactured by the Canadian company Coptek Copper Covers, the patches are self-sanitizing adhesive copper covers that are registered with Health Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, proven to continuously kill 99.9% of bacteria on surfaces within two hours of contact. Anti-microbial copper patches will create a safer work and learning environment for students, faculty and staff due to copper’s natural anti-microbial properties.
The installations were completed in two phases with 80 patches installed during the first phase in November, 2021, followed by 365 in February, 2022.
In addition, Teck’s Copper and Health program also provided funding to Dr. Amanda Clifford, an Assistant Professor from UBC’s Department of Materials Engineering for research to develop advanced copper coating technology. The new coating is expected to outperform pure copper in terms of reducing the spread of aggressive infections contracted through contaminated surfaces in hospitals and other health care settings. The research results will go through a peer review process and are expected to be released this year.
As Canada’s top copper producer, Teck is committed to raising awareness and advocating for the use of copper as an innovative solution to healthcare-acquired infections, as well as infections resulting from bacteria spread in busy public spaces through its Copper and Health program.
In addition to the installation in UBC Applied Science buildings, Teck has installed anti-microbial copper covers in B.C. hospitals including Vancouver General Hospital, Lions Gate Hospital and Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital and on transit vehicles for Translink and the Toronto Transit Commission. Teck is also committed to installing copper surfaces in the Teck Emergency Department at the new St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver as well as Team Canada training facilities in Toronto and Calgary.