Ohio-based Oasis International has introduced antimicrobial drinking fountain components with copper “touch points” it says can “continually kill 99 percent” of bacteria to which they are exposed.
“Dangerous bacteria, such as MRSA (the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ‘super bug’) and E. coli, pass from hand to hand via the surfaces that people touch, like door handles, push plates, equipment, switches, railings, counters and plumbing fixtures,” says the company. It calls its new product line the first “EPA- (Environmental Protection Agency-) registered, antimicrobial copper touch points” for its line of water coolers and fountains.
The antimicrobial copper will not wash or wear away, says Oasis, and laboratory testing has shown products made from MD-Cu29 antimicrobial copper (made by Pennsylvania-based Hussey Copper) “kill greater than 99.9 percent of bacteria within two hours [and] will continue to do so for the life of the product.”
The company says a 2013 study helped prove copper’s ability to reduce infections and that the Pennsylvania-based ECRI (Emergency Care Research Institute) has listed antimicrobial copper as one of the top 10 technologies to watch.
“Our Oasis water fountains provide safe, pure and filtered water to guests in millions of installations worldwide,” says Jeff Chiarugi, CEO of Oasis International. “But, realistically, hand contact can transfer germs to the fountain’s surface. Our innovative products with copper shield components have the ability to continually kill harmful bacteria, effectively reducing the spread of disease.”
Oasis International was founded in 1910 and says it “invented the modern-day drinking fountain.” The company now designs, manufactures and distributes drinking water systems with a product line that includes bottle fillers, water coolers, bottle-less coolers, under-counter coolers and dehumidifiers.