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Solid antimicrobial fixtures

Kills germs, looks great.
 
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Appliances and fixtures which many people contact over the course of a day can act as reservoirs for fomites, and help propagate infectious diseases. People try to combat this with handwashing campaigns, disposable knob covers, or spray on antiseptics, each of which requires prolonged and sustained effort and cooperation to be effective (see link and discussion).

I propose that high contact fixtures such as doorknobs be built entirely out of an antimicrobial substance. Many fixtures are very overbuilt for the function they serve - elevator buttons are an example - and could be made of materials which might be less durable than metal. A good candidate for this substance would be an ionic crystal, along the lines of those currently marketed as "deodorant stones". These function by leaving a residue (usually potassium salts) that inhibit the growth of bacteria on the skin. These crystals are quite robust, nontoxic enough to be applied and left on skin, but would provide so harsh a surface that microbes deposited on them would be quickly destroyed. I am sorry I could find no reputable link on how these work - but a search will find no shortage of advertising sites.

The advantage would be that no maintenance would be required to keep the antimicrobial powers working. Plus, the crystalline fixtures would look snappy!

bungston, May 23 2003

Disposable door handle covers http://www.halfbake...r_20handle_20covers
[bungston, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Deodorant crystals http://www.thecrystal.com/
A representative commercial site. [bungston, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

AgION™ antimicrobial-coated steel http://www.akcoatin...ss/construction.asp
"Its active ingredient is silver, which has been used for centuries as an effective antimicrobial." [phoenix, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Nuclear Fuel Rods http://old.nuclear..../short/1906021e.jpg
Better let someone else press buttons made of this stuff. [Amos Kito, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

[link]






       Retrofit flushing mechanisms.   

       Hey, way to create more resistant bacteria!   

       But going back to your title, "Solid antimicrobial fixtures," I dunno - can you kill germs with a hammer?
DrCurry, May 23 2003
  

       If you've only got a hammer, every germ's a nail.
sild, May 23 2003
  

       What about Bob?
thumbwax, May 23 2003
  

       Baked! So very very baked, in many forms. Copper plating, various plastics, etc. etc.
belg4mit, May 23 2003
  

       [Belg4mit], guru of solid antimicrobial fixtures, please direct me to a link on these plastic antiseptic fixtures that I might edify myself. I like the [Amos Kito] approach better. Maybe not the nuclear fuel rods, but a beta particle emitter would make a fine fixture: high levels of radiation which travel very short distances would bake any microbes deposited on the surface, but do little hard to hands/lips making transient contact.
bungston, May 27 2003
  

       I know they make contertops out of antibacterial solid stuff, I'm sure they could make it into door handles and elevator buttons. Maybe a good idea in hospitals, maybe schools but I think most people are overly concerned about germs on objects, Most common colds and such are airborn anyway, teaching kids to cover their mouth when they cough would probably do more good.
tedhaubrich, May 26 2004
  
      
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