Copper: a significant ally in virus and bacteria control
Did you know that copper destroys viruses and bacteria? The discovery was performed by the physician Victor Burq in the 19th century, in Paris, according to a paper published on Vice website. At the time, there were cholera outbreaks that reached the city and employees of a copper cast house, that had daily contact with the ore, were not reached by the disease. At the same time, he discovered that other workers handling copper in Paris capital and in other European cities had also prevented cholera.
From a data collection with more than 200 thousand people, he reached a conclusion to France Science and Medicine Academies in 1967, that ‘copper and its alloys, brass and bronze, literally applied in the skin in the cholera epidemic are efficient prevention means and should not be neglected’
Through the years, studies showed that copper is a major ally and has bacterial threat protection: it is an antimicrobial. It was proven that the metal kills a long list of microbes, including norovirus, MRSA, an Staphylococcus bacteria that became resistant to antibiotics, E. coli virulent strains that can cause food intoxications, and coronavirus – possibly the new strain currently causing COVID-19 pandemic.
But why doesn´t the world use more copper? After all, it could reduce microbe presence in main surfaces, a door for the human being to contaminate him/herself with different infirmities. Maybe due to the value. But, as an analysis is performed, it is possible to reverse this situation, as the ore could be a major ally in hospital infections and even in coronavirus pandemic control, thus governments would not have to spend so much in disease cure.
Learn more on copper and its relevance to public health
After strict tests and assessments, the United States Environmental Protection Agency filed copper alloys as public health antimicrobial materials. Surfaces touched frequently made of copper alloy materials kill bacteria continuously within two hours of contact, when regularly cleaned.
More than 500 copper alloy types are filed in the United States Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide to control pests without adverse effects to the human being and the environment.
Three major characteristics that make antimicrobial copper alloys highly efficient in contact surface materials:
- It kills bacteria continuously
It is proven that copper material is much more efficient as an antimicrobial surface than a stainless steel material, and it kills infection-causing bacteria continuously.
- It never wears out
Even after dry, wet cleaning and contact with infection-causing bacteria, it remains with continuous microbial action efficacy.
- Safe to use
Copper surfaces are not harmful to people or the environment. It has inherent microbial even without chemicals added. And it is totally recyclable.
A study performed by the United States Centers for Disease and Prevention reported that SARS – CoV-2 virus, that causes Covid-19, is kept alive from two to three days in plastic and stainless steel surfaces, however, in copper alloy surfaces, the virus is kept alive for up to 4 hours.
Such information was obtained from the website https://www.copperalloystewardship.com/