Don Lindsay is the President and Chief Executive Officer, Teck Resources.
For more than 10,000 years, copper has played numerous critical roles in human civilization. The red metal’s pliability, conductivity and durability have seen it used in everything from early tools to plumbing to modern electronics.
In fact, copper is now so ubiquitous that the health of the copper market is often a predictor of the health of the economy overall – a fact that’s earned it the nickname “Doctor Copper”.
Today, as the world grapples with a pandemic, it turns out that the Doctor has an important part to play in healthcare, thanks to an unusual property that makes the metal a coronavirus killer.
Copper is naturally anti-microbial, eliminating up to 99.9% of harmful bacteria and viruses by “punching holes in the microorganisms,” according to Dr Titus Wong, Regional Medical Director of Infection Control at Vancouver Coastal Health.
A recent study from the US National Institutes of Health, Center for Disease Control, UCLA and Princeton University scientists found that the COVID-19 virus survived for less than four hours on copper surfaces, compared to up to three days on plastic and stainless steel.