Understanding Biocidal Copper and Silver and Article 95

There are a number of companies selling elemental silver (EC No. 231-131-3, CAS No. 7440-22-4) as part of copper and silver ionisation systems for controlling Legionella and other bacteria in water systems that are not on the Article 95 list for elemental silver. At present, these ionisation companies would need to purchase their elemental silver in the correct Product Type (PT) from members of the silver task force that are on the Article 95 list, or from a company in a supply chain with members of the silver task force that are on the Article 95 list.

There are only 2 companies, other than ProEconomy, that are on the Article 95 list for elemental silver under PT 2 (uses include bathing water, air-conditioning systems, and water distribution systems) and PT 5 (drinking water).

Once elemental silver is approved as an active substance under the BPR, the need to comply with the product authorisation rules of the BPR arise. One effect of these rules is that a company supplying elemental silver as a biocidal product would need to demonstrate that its source of elemental silver is technically equivalent to the sources of elemental silver approved under the BPR. At the moment, there is only ProEconomy and one other company whose elemental silver is being reviewed under the BPR.

The majority of the ionisation systems used in the UK are installed within healthcare premises and therefore are paid by the taxpayer. ProEconomy are concerned about the financial implications associated with paying for non-compliant ionisation systems that will have to be shortly removed. ProEconomy would like to make the UK healthcare industry aware of this compliance situation as non-compliant ionisation companies may not be keeping their customers apprised.

ProEconomy are also concerned about the rising cost of elemental silver as a biocide which may fluctuate over time. ProEconomy has not increased the price of its elemental silver and guarantees the stability of its elemental silver price.

We hope that non-compliant ionisation companies have made their potential clients aware of the instability of their elemental silver price and the potential removal of their silver ionisation products from the market when the product authorisation obligations arise, as mentioned above.  

Written by Byron Bedford

Director of ProEconomy 

For more information please get in touch with me on 01525 854111 or at byron@proeconomy.com

May 13, 2013

Announcement on EU copper derogation.

The HSE applied for copper derogation on the 1st of January. There was a sixty-day public consultation period. ProEconomy believed that after this sixty-day period the EU would make an official announcement. 

Unfortunately this is not the case. The EU has informed ProEconomy that there has to be a further meeting of the CA committee to discuss the derogation of copper. The copper derogation meeting will not take place until late May or early June. ProEconomy expects the announcements granting derogation for the Orca copper and silver ionisation system by the end of June.

Once copper derogation has been announced this will effectively give the copper ionisation industry one year to apply for copper under the EU biocidal directive.

The copper industry has already formed a task force and appointed a consultant to complete this application.  

For more information please contact Nick Bedford at:

Email: nick@proeconomy.com 

Tel: 01525 854111

May 11, 2013

ProEconomy's after installation service continues to impress.

ProEconomy are passionate about water and making sure that Legionella is controlled at their sites. This is why they continue to supply the excellent after installation service that they are known for.

Below is a picture of Karina Jones, one of ProEconomy's microbiologist team, instructing cleaning staff at Great Ormond Street hospital on how and where to flush.


Installing the Orca copper and silver ionisation system is the start of a comprehensive service package. ProEconomy make sure that Legionella is controlled by implementing a maintenance and sampling regime that ensures Legionella is controlled. They instruct ward nurses and maintenance staff on how to flush tap points effectively and where they should be flushed, their engineers make sure the Orca ionisation system is working at its optimum capacity and their team of sampling engineers sample the site continually for Legionella, total viable count of bacteria and metals to ensure that water is clear from harmful bacteria and that their copper and silver biocide is getting to the tap point. 

ProEconomy pride themselves on their after installation service, as Dr Birgitta Bedford from ProEconomy explains 'we are not the kind of company that install our system and then walk away. Once we install the Orca ionisation system we initiate a maintenance and sampling program that makes sure Legionella is controlled. This is shared with our clients to ensure that they have absolute peace of mind in regard to their Legionella control'. 

May 9, 2013

ProEconomy install the silver only Porpoise system at Croydon university hospital.

ProEconomy have installed a new water treatment system at Croydon university hospital

Croydon university hospital is a 600-bed site and the new silver only Porpoise system has already been running for a month. The porpoise will be treating 153,340 cubic meters of water each year and has been taken on with the standard maintenance and sampling program that ProEconomy use to confirm that the water on site meets their exacting standards.


Nick Bedford, the MD of ProEconomy, is excited about acquiring the new hospital ‘Croydon is a great hospital to have as a site and we are optimistic that we can do some great things here. This is a large site and we are utilizing our latest product [the Porpoise] to treat the water, so expectations are high.’ 

For further details please contact:

Byron Bedford

Business development manager



May 9, 2013

Progress is made on copper derogation

Due to lack of support by the copper industry to obtain listings in the EC Biocidal Products Directive, the EC took the decision not to allow copper to be placed on the EU market as a biocide after the 01st February 2013.

An essential use application for derogation of copper for the EC biocidal products directive was submitted on the 29th of January and has been published on the EC website for public comment. The derogation should have been granted 60 days after submission and thus should have been received during April.

The European commission is meeting with the competent authorities of all EU member states at the end of May and the EC website should be updated after this. Once the EC website is updated the HSE should follow suit.

For more information please contact:

Dr Birgitta Bedford

ProEconomy Ltd,

Email: birgitta@proeconomy.com

Tel: 01525 854111

April 26, 2013

Dr Birgitta Bedford lectures at Derriford hospital.

Dr Birgitta Bedford was invited to discuss Legionella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa control with ward nurses at Derriford hospital.

Birgitta Bedford is the first person who has a PhD degree in Legionella control.

She was asked to discuss ProEconomy's copper and silver ionisation system, which has been installed at Derriford hospital for the last 12 months with great results, to numerous ward nurses from the hospital. She was also asked to lecture upon the dangers, issues and techniques of controlling Legionella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Before the Orca system was installed, Derriford hospital had serious issues with Legionella control and had employed various techniques in an attempt to control it. The Orca system was installed 12 months ago and has now decreased the number of tap points that had positive Legionella counts by 4 fold.  

Birgitta was especially keen to talk to ward nurses about controlling Pseudomonas aeruginosa because this requires staff to maintain good hygiene practices as Pseudomonas aeruginosa thrive in any moist environment, including on skin, surfaces and cloth and not just in water systems.

Birgitta discussed how Pseudomonas aeruginosa is spread, its behavior in water systems and outside of water systems.  

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a similar species to Legionella and research has shown that the levels of copper and silver necessary to control Legionella in water systems will also control Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Dr Birgitta Bedford stressed that 'it is important to not only run outlets regularly to maintain good levels of copper and silver but to also ensure that good hygiene is in place’.

She went on to discuss the practices that should be employed to minimize risk and how copper and silver ionisaton is the only control method that effectively controls Legionella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in water systems.

If you would like Dr Birgitta Bedford to discuss any of these issues with staff at your site then please get in touch to arrange a talk. 

January 1, 2010


Retirement community in Illinois: Three confirmed and seven suspected cases of Legionnaires' disease occurred among residents of a retirement community in the Chicago area. Two have died. The first case died in September; the subsequent cases were dentified in November. A rain forest, water fall, and spa located in the atrium of the facility were shut down by investigators.
Source: Daily Herald

Hospital in UK: Two patients at a hospital in Essex contracted Legionnaires' disease. The hospital reported that water test results indicated it was the probable source. As of the 8 January report, both patients had responded to antibiotics but one was still in a critical condition.
Source: BBC News

Senior apartment complex in Baltimore: Six elderly residents contracted Legionnaires' disease, one of whom died. The outbreak was investigated in October.
Source: Baltimore Sun

Hotel in Miami: Three guests of a hotel in Miami contracted Legionnaires' and one died. A European man left on a cruise after staying at the hotel in late September but was rushed back to a hospital where he died. A second man contracted LD while at the hotel in late November. Health officials did not recognize the outbreak until December when a third case occurred in a woman who visited the hotel.
Source: Miami Herald

January 2010