In the present Coronavirus-dominated social landscape, contact infection is the pre-eminent daily concern, with frequent handwashing recommended to break the onward transmission from touching handles and other equipment, therefore reducing new infections and potentially saving lives. This very mainstream headline concern reflects the ever-present issue of hospital-acquired infections, which has recently been highlighted in a UK report, suggesting that up to 5000 patients die each year, in England alone, from these hospital-acquired infections, with an estimated cost of £1billion. Similar situations are reported elsewhere such as in New York.
It is therefore of global importance to focus on the hygiene of hand-operated equipment in medical/bio-chemical and laboratory environments, including disability aids, food processing and pharmaceutical, catering and public fittings. In these situations, Elesa offers an effective aid to hygiene, with its recently expanded high-performance SAN (sanitary) range of handles, knobs, levers, clamping handles and similar hardware, produced with exactly this situation in mind. The range expansion includes new cylindrical handles (such as for operating handwheels), knurled grip knobs, adjustable clamping handles, wing nuts and solid hand knobs – all suitable for equipment operation or adjustment.
SAN products are proven to prevent the proliferation of microbes, bacteria and fungi on the product surface by means of the controlled release of silver ions, which provides a long-term anti-microbial action in critical environments.
Silver has long been recognised for its efficiency in this role by damaging microbial cell walls – and even now, recent research has revealed a mechanism whereby the silver ions have been shown to inhibit the operation of microbial flagella.
The Elesa manufacturing team has developed a sophisticated injection-moulding material with this silver inclusion, and with stainless steel inserts, suitable for use even in sterilisation cycles at up to 130degC. SAN line components are available in white or black with the SAN logo laser engraved to clearly identify them.
Tests on material samples to ISO 22196:2011 show considerable effectiveness for four different types of bacteria and the more difficult-to-eliminate fungus:
- Escherichia coli – 99.9 per cent
- Staphylococcus aureus – 99.9 per cent
- Klebseilla pneumonia – 99.8 per cent
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa – 99.9 per cent
- Candida albicans – 98.9 per cent
Elesa focuses on making its own tooling and moulds, also developing and testing materials with major suppliers. SAN lines are supported in the UK with stock and technical teams ensuring advice is always available. Further information regarding Elesa products may be found at www.elesa.com.