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Creating safer environments with antimicrobial touch surfaces

Safer environments are being created all over the world following the novel coronavirus outbreak. We explain how introducing antimicrobial touch surfaces into different environments can help create safer spaces.

The world we live in now is very different to how it was a year ago. Instead of the normal ‘keys, wallet, phone’ check we all do before leaving the house, it’s now ‘mask, sanitizer, am I sure I don’t feel ill?’

Despite everyone calling it ‘the new normal’, we know it can still be easy to forget to wash and sanitize your hands after everything you touch. Maybe you’re rushing through a train station and hold onto a handrail. By the time you’ve made it to your train are you going to think about what you’ve touched? Would you have already spread those germs anyway?

During these times it makes sense to everyone to try and make the environments we find our selves in as safe as possible. Places have one-way systems, hand sanitizers at every door, and face mask policies. However, the materials used on high touch surfaces that we constantly find ourselves coming into contact with can harbour bacteria and germs, and viruses can live on them for days.

According to new research by Australia’s National Science Agency, the CSIRO, SARS-CoV-2 can survive on some surfaces for up to 28 days. They also found that the virus survived much longer at lower temperatures, including room temperature. Although, the research was carried out in dark conditions when UV light is known to help kill COVID-19.

antimicrobial handrail

Different touch surfaces and their antimicrobial properties

An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth, including bacteria and viruses.

Some materials that we use for touch surfaces can have antimicrobial properties, but which ones work best?

First there’s stainless steel, the material that we find most used for things such as door handles, handrails, push plates, etc. Stainless steel has no inherent antimicrobial properties and can harbour deadly bacteria and viruses for days.

Secondly, silver has started being used to make antimicrobial infection control products. However, in regular situations it is not going to be at all effective. Silver’s antimicrobial properties are only measurable once you reach a temperature of 37C and a humidity of 95%, neither of which are going to be likely in any environment we find ourselves in on a day-to-day basis.

Silver can also be used in antimicrobial coatings, which over time can and will wear and weaken. It cannot kill MRSA on dry touch surfaces either.

What can we offer?

At ANYWeld, we can offer HYGI-Rail products from HYGI-Group Ltd. Some HYGI-Rail products include handrails, balustrades, balconies, and gantries. Additionally, bespoke products can be made for you at your request. HYGI-Group makes all their products from their antimicrobial metal alloy that looks just like stainless steel. It’s been clinically proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria in minutes and is not a coating so will never weaken.

If you are interested in ANYWeld helping to provide, design and install any HYGI-Rail products for you then get in touch at enquiries@anyweld.co.uk.

If you want to find out more about what HYGI-Group can offer, visit www.hygi-group.com

Antimicrobial handrail