...it was a casual conversation with a former butcher that led Brayden Whitlock, a graduate student at the University of Alberta, to design a pilot study that put salt and copper head to head. Coupon-sized strips of pure, compressed sodium chloride were covered in an MRSA culture, alongside similar strips of antimicrobial copper and stainless steel. Whitlock found that salt killed off the bug 20 to 30 times faster than the copper did, reducing MRSA levels by 85 percent after 20 seconds, and by 94 percent after a minute.
That was “considerably faster” than expected, Whitlock says—and he believes this efficiency could have major ramifications for how bugs like MRSA spread. “It’s great to be able to eliminate pathogens over the course of a few hours,” he says, “but if you think of a busy place that has a doorknob, or a push pad, can you imagine a time when it goes more than a few minutes without being touched? The answer to us is no. And that’s why this is really exciting.”....
The salt-covered doorknobs, meanwhile, are already in the market. Doug Olson, the former butcher who first told Whitlock about the idea, has already received a patent for the technology in nine different countries, and registered the trade name Outbreaker. Prototypes have been built by local salt companies—the compression process is identical to how salt licks for livestock are made—and discreetly installed in a handful of settings around Edmonton, Alberta’s capital, over the past few years. Compressed and smooth, with a feel akin to ceramics, Whitlock says most users have no idea that what they’re really grabbing is a fistful of table salt.
Friday, March 10, 2017
Talk about your simple solutions
From the Atlantic: Can Salted Doorknobs Prevent Superbug Infections?