Monday, December 14, 2009

Bio-Burden on Electronics Can Spread Infection

Microscopic yucky stuff grows all around us. I think I can speak for my fellow germophobes when I say this is something we'd rather not even consider.

In fact, a study of nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infection conducted by Dr. Eddy Weir in the UK showed significant bio-burden load on equipments’ circuits and boards coming in from Asia. These bio-burdens (i.e., germs) can then easily be spread when the board is inserted into a system and the cooling fans turned on. The study showed the cause of the growth on the boards to be food residue left during manufacturing; fingerprints and/or tape adhesive are also known to be a cause. The simple act of installing and using these boards can easily result in the spread of various microbes in the work place, or in hospitals, wherever the boards and systems are being used. See example of bio-burden on circuit board above, courtesy of Dr. Weir.

Pretty disgusting, right? I'm happy to report that help is readily available. In 2008,the EPA approved the registration of antimicrobial copper alloys with public health claims. These claims acknowledge that copper, brass and bronze are capable of killing harmful, potentially deadly bacteria. Copper is the first solid surface material to receive this type of EPA registration, which is supported by extensive antimicrobial efficacy testing.

A revolutionary source for abatement of these bio-burdens is Intercept Technology™ Packaging, which is a Bell Labs invention, made with plastics and copper. The copper is reacted into the polymer matrix where it cannot migrate or slough off. The Intercept packaging’s initial purpose was to provide short and long term corrosion protection and permanent electrostatic discharge protection. With these newly published studies, backed by testing of Intercept in Singapore, Intercept packaging materials can be considered a passive mildewcide and an active anti-microbial agent able to eliminate dangerous bacteria and spores.

Manufacturers should note that copper-based Intercept Technology packaging for circuit boards is an easy fix to ensure better health in hospitals, nursing facilities and the workplace.

Naturally, I must mention that, as President of Liberty Packaging Co., Inc., with Intercept Technology™ Packaging as our flagship product line, I have a personal stake in spreading this good news. Liberty Packaging Co., distributes packaging on the East Coast of the United States.

Keep your products clean and safe. Call us at 800-776-5756.

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