Marshall-Tufflex’s Antimicrobial Systems Good For The Public Sector
Reducing the risk of hospital-acquired infections is a top priority for the National Health Service – not only do such infections pose a real and high risk to health, National Audit Office figures calculate they cost the NHS up to £1 billion per year and affect some nine percent of hospital patients at any one time.
It is against this backdrop that building product manufacturers identified the possibility for building products specified for use within healthcare environments, including care homes, hospices, day centres etc, to play their part in preventing the spread of infection.
The science behind these systems revolves around the use of silver, which has established anti-bacterial properties. Much research has been dedicated to adapting this precious metal for use in modern medical equipment and it is now used successfully in wound management and sterile equipment. Adapting it for use in products such as light switches and plug sockets – even chair and door handles – was a natural progression.
The technology has now moved on a step, with one of the newest anti-microbial systems being PVC-U cable containment – a logical next stage given the high number of times this dado height product may be touched. These new systems, such as Bio Trunking from Marshall-Tufflex, can render harmless many of the most virulent bacteria, for example MRSA, E-Coli and Salmonella. If someone carrying one of these bugs on their hands touches the treated PVC-U, bacteria transferred to the cable containment begins to die, minimising the risk of cross contamination. On untreated products, the harmful bacteria will grow.
Anti-microbial cable management systems come in two variants:
- The silver-based formulation is added to the PVC-U during manufacture, ensuring that it is evenly distributed throughout the product. Should the trunking get scratched, the active agent continues to do its job.
- The silver-based formulation is applied to the surface of the cable containment – typically on metal trunking systems. However, once this coating is scratched, germs can penetrate the surface layer of these products and breed unchecked.
For this reason specifiers working on healthcare projects should give priority consideration to trunking with the anti-microbial agent integral to the product, rather than applied as a surface coating. This specification ensures maximum performance throughout the lifetime of the trunking.
Those thinking of using an anti-microbial system should confirm that it is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and compliant with the European Biocidal Products Directive (BPD).
All Marshall-Tufflex Bio systems have been tested to the standard ISO22196:2007 which is quantitative standard and the results show that the survival rate of the bacteria tested is less than 0.1%.
While there is no substitute for meticulous cleaning regimes and scrupulous personal hygiene, building products such as this are a valuable and additional weapon that can be used to great effect in the fight against superbugs and other infections. Anti-microbial cable containment is a straight-forward, cost-effective and proven method of neutralising some of the most common and dangerous bacteria found in hospitals, care homes and other locations where infection control is an issue. It works silently, invisibly and round the clock, killing bacteria and preventing cross-infection.
Marshall-Tufflex has developed its product range to offer many of them with silver-based anti-microbial protection integral to the PVC-U product.
These Bio Trunking systems have been tested to ISO 22196:2007 and are proven to exhibit reductions in bacterial viable counts of more than 99.9%. An independent test house commissioned to examine the performance of Bio Trunking carried out a quantitative study comparing a treated trunking sample with an untreated comparison. Both were exposed to a controlled quantity of bacteria (MRSA and Klebsiella Pneumoniae) in two separate tests. After 24 hours bacteria levels were measured. In both cases the survival rate of bacteria on the anti-microbial treated trunking sample was less than 0.1% or, to put it the opposite way, it showed a greater than 99.9% kill rate. On the untreated sample, the number of bacteria found had increased.
Bio Trunking has been used to great effect in 11 operating theatres at the Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. The cable management is part of an upgrade to the monitoring system linking essential patient data during an operation – such as blood pressure and heart rate – to a central processing unit. Installed in vertical lengths from floor to ceiling, Bio Trunking provides an alternative to chasing cabling into walls, a process that can generate undesirable bacteria.
“We had expected something far heftier but people don’t notice it unless it’s pointed out to them,“ said Paul Cookney for Theatre Estates, Plymouth NHS Trust, about Odyssey Bio. “It has such a low profile with the advantage of no edge. It is a superb product that has provided us with a cheaper and more effective method of managing cables. We are very pleased with it.”
For the Derriford contract, the trunking profile specified was Marshall-Tufflex’s all-curved Odyssey, which offers great aesthetics and is clutter-free and easy to clean thanks to its curves. Cat 6 compliant Odyssey Bio is unique, being the first three compartment PVC-U cable containment system with a fully curved profile to be manufactured from a material with anti-microbial properties.
As with all of Marshall-Tufflex’s Bio Trunking profiles, the active ingredient is integral to Odyssey Bio, meaning that it continues to work even if the plastic is scratched or damaged, and will remain 100% effective throughout the life of the trunking as it does not leach out or suffer any reduction in performance over time.
Source : Marshall-Tufflex