Friday, June 20, 2014

UK - Corrosion Research - Human sweat can reduce anti-bacterial properties of brass objects (door handles and water taps) in hospitals, schools and public buildings

Human sweat can reduce the effectiveness of bacteria-fighting brass objects in hospitals and schools after just an hour of coming into contact with them

Human sweat can reduce the effectiveness of bacteria-fighting brass objects in hospitals and schools after just an hour of coming into contact with them, according to a new study. University of Leicester researchers discovered that sweat can cause corrosion of protective qualities of door knobs and taps within an hour of contact.
Copper found in everyday brass items such as door handles and water taps has an antimicrobial effect on bacteria and is widely used to prevent the spread of disease. Dr John Bond from the University of Leicester's Department of Chemistry found that peoples' sweat can, within an hour of contact with the brass, produce sufficient corrosion to adversely affect its use to kill a range of microorganisms, such as those which might be encountered in a hospital and which can be easily transferred by touch or by a lack of hand hygiene.
"The antimicrobial effect of copper has been known for hundreds of years. It is thought to occur as a result of a charge exchange between copper and bacteria, which leads to a degradation of the bacteria DNA," Bond said. "We have discovered that the salt in sweat corrodes the metal, forming an oxide layer on its surface, which is the process of corrosion - and this corrosive layer is known to inhibit the effect of the copper.
"We have shown that it is possible for sweat to produce an oxide layer on the metal within an hour of contact," Bond said. "While it is well known that sweat corrodes brass, this is the first study to quantitatively analyse the temporal corrosion of copper alloys such as brass in the first few hours after contact between fingerprint sweat concentrations of salt and the metal," he said.
"My short term advice is to keep the brass in public environments free from corrosion through regular and thorough cleaning. In the longer term, using copper alloys with corrosion inhibitors included in the alloy would be a good choice," Bond said.
"While more research is needed in the study of sweat and brass corrosion, anywhere that needs to prevent the spread of bacteria, such as public buildings, schools and hospitals should be looking at using copper alloy on everyday items to help in avoiding the spread of disease," he said.
Publication Date: 18 June 2014

India - Water Distribution - Pipe Leak Irks Residents in Aluva region, Kerala - Everyday over 25,000 litres of water is wasted


Everyday, over 25,000 litres of water is wasted. This is a criminal offence considering the fact that we are facing acute potable water scarcity. For over five years, the pipe has been lying in a poor condition. 


ALUVA:  At a time when abysmal water scarcity looms large, the KWA’s apathy to fix a water pipeline leak here has left the local residents seething with rage.

Residents and environmental activists in Thottumugham in Keezhmadu panchayat here have been  complaining about a huge leak in one of the pipes that supply potable water to the entire area. The leak has been detected in the pipe passing under the bridge in Thottumugham.

“For over five years, the pipe has been lying in a poor condition. After receiving repeated complaints, the KWA officials did some patch work on the steel pipe a few years ago, but failed to stop the water leakage,” environmental activist Seetharaman said.

“Everyday, over 25,000 litres of water is wasted. This is a criminal offence considering the fact that we are facing acute potable water scarcity,” he said. The residents have made repeated complaints to KWA executive engineer, panchayat officials, the District Collector and the local MLA. But no one has responded or made any effort to address this grave issue, resident and activist Kareem Kallungal has said.

KWA executive engineer E Nandakumar told ‘Express’  that KWA is aware of the situation.“There is a leak in one of the pipes. We have been trying to repair it. But we are yet to complete the work. The repair work would require around `10 lakh. But our approved estimate only amounts to `6 lakh. We had invited open tender, but contractors refuse to take up the work for this amount,” he said.

Article Source: http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/Pipe-Leak-Irks-Residents/2014/06/08/article2268751.ece
Publication Date: 08 June 2014