Biosafety is the practice of managing and containing harmful microorganisms as well as other hazardous biological materials. That sounds complicated, but most businesses have engaged in pretty significant biosafety measures in the past two years.
It may be simpler to think of it as the steps you take to prevent the spread of germs and illness throughout your facility.
Chances are you’ve changed your cleaning protocols, offered hand sanitizer to customers and employees, and taken other steps to stop illness from making its way around your business.
That might even include cleaning off door handles, and that brings up an interesting question. Do different metals impact door handle biosafety? This article will provide information on various metals and how well they resist pathogens.
Metals and Germ Control
Illness isn’t just passed from person to person. It can also be transmitted from person to object to person. This vector is why it’s important to consider how materials that come into contact with people can prevent transmission.
There may be nothing that people touch more in your building than door handles. Here’s what we know about metal plating and germ control.
Copper — The Miracle Metal
Scientists have discovered that copper has amazing antimicrobial properties. Copper creates an electrochemical reaction that can reduce harmful viruses and bacteria on surfaces by up to 90%. That’s the positive.
The negative is that pure copper is expensive and corrodes. This corrosion can make it difficult to use extensively in your facility. However, there is a compromise that works very well. Copper alloys retain the same germ-killing properties of pure copper without the cost or tendency to damage easily.
CDF Distributors offers hardware in a satin chrome finish. Chrome contains germ-resistant copper along with other metals. Additionally, we will be offering bronze hardware soon.
While choosing a new metal surface for door handles won’t eliminate the need to use additional cleaning and sanitation methods, it is one more element to help make your building safer.
At first, it may seem as if stainless steel would be naturally pathogen resistant. In truth, it is not. Stainless steel provides a very smooth surface. Studies have shown that germs live longer on non-porous surfaces and retain their infectious properties for a longer period.
There are some positives to using stainless steel. Though stainless steel tends to harbor bacteria, it is one of the easiest metals to clean and sanitize.
Because it’s stain-resistant, stainless steel can be cleaned with antibacterial aerosol sprays such as Lysol, wiped down with cleaning wipes, or cleaned with soap and water. Just be aware that stainless steel is prone to scratches, so work with the grain and avoid abrasives when cleaning.
Laser-Textured Metal Surfaces
Studies have shown that using a laser to texture copper can increase its ability to kill germs. This process increases the surface area that catches and destroys viruses and bacteria.
Additionally, texturing titanium and other metals may also be effective. Textured metals such as brushed surfaces could slightly increase germ resistance.
Should You Replace Door Hardware?
It probably isn’t practical to replace door handles and other touchable surfaces on your doors all at once. Instead, set some priorities. For example, consider how the metals you choose could help fight illness in your workplace when you purchase new doors.
You might also prioritize the doors that you upgrade. Bathroom doors are certainly a candidate for more biosafe materials. So are doors that are used by large numbers of people.
Also, consider your workers and customers. If they tend to come from more vulnerable populations, keep that in mind when deciding whether to upgrade your door handles or not.
In the meantime, please keep in mind that door handle metal is only a small part of facility safety. Please continue engaging in all other recommended protocols to prevent the spread of illnesses on surfaces or in the air.
Safe and Durable Doors and Hardware
We are proud to offer options that help you provide a safe and healthy workplace. You can count on CDF Distributors to help you with whole door solutions or hardware upgrades.
Please don’t hesitate to ask any of our knowledgeable consultants if you have any further questions about the relative benefits of different door handle materials.