Your correspondent was recently laid up for four days with the flu, an inevitability in an urban world where one must touch subway turnstiles, doorknobs and handrails used by millions. And while germ-spreading is a mere inconvenience for your average healthy blogger, it's a potentially deadly problem for heathcare environments.
Recognizing this, and reasoning that a fair amount of their fixtures are going into medical facilities, fixtures manufacturer Häfele has addressed the problem by developing Alasept, an antibacterial and antiviral coating that they can use to coat stainless steel fittings. Doorknobs, window handles and furniture components can be treated with Alasept, which not only prevents the adhesion of the germs, but actively kills off what bugs do stick to the material. The Alasept coating is extremely hard and scratch resistant and works around the clock. It is not reduced by impact or by wear from finger rings. The fittings can be easily and quickly cleaned with commercially available acid-free cleaning products.
These coated fittings are particularly suitable for use in hygiene-sensitive areas such as hospitals, doctors' offices and nursing homes, but also in public institutions, schools or hotels—anyplace that large numbers of people and the transfer of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens may be particularly prevalent.
Healthcare designers involved in creating new facilities can of course spec the stuff out for new construction, but Häfele is also counting on retrofitting to be a big part of the business. For more information on the stuff, a downloadable PDF is available here.