February 25, 2013
Brass Antibacterial Rollerball Pen
From Michael Hsu and the Wall Street Journal:
According to the pen's manufacturer, the brass from which it's made has been certified by the EPA as being antimicrobial, able to kill six especially nasty strains of bacteria, including E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus, within two hours.
Metals with a high copper content, like brass, can also be effective at neutralizing viruses. Studies conducted at the University of Southampton have found that copper alloys can kill a range of viruses, including the dreaded influenza A H1N1. According to lead researcher Dr. Bill Keevil, other recent tests show that noroviruses — the culprits behind the stomach bug — die within 10 minutes of dry contact with a copper surface.
Given these advantages, copper-based products, such as IV poles and light-switch covers, are increasingly being made to prevent the spread of disease in hospitals and other institutions. This inspired industrial designer Karl Zahn to fabricate the most basic of physicians' tools — the pen — from the same material. "It's the one piece of equipment that every doctor has contact with," said Mr. Zahn.
Each part of the Hatch Pen, except for the stainless-steel clip and rollerball refill, is made of solid brass. While most brass pens are heavily lacquered to preserve their lustre, the Hatch is finished with just a thin coat, intended to wear away quickly, leaving the hygienic surface exposed. So although the pen may soon lose its glossy sheen, its germ-killing properties will endure past flu season.
February 25, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink
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I'm a fan of the Waterman Hemisphere myself, comet red in particular. To avoid pesky co-workers' H1N1, plague, &c., I cleverly do not loan my pen out to anyone, and keep a distance of at least six feet from people actively exuding fluids, aerosols, and the like. To reduce the chances of Hantavirus, I resist the urge to roll the pen or myself around in mouse droppings.
These and many more tips are in my new book, Common Sense: You Can't Explain It, now available with a ten-inch-thick lead cover in case of you-know-what.
Posted by: Mike Harney | Feb 26, 2013 2:40:45 PM
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