Antimicrobial copper

By E Swanepoel, Copper Development Association Africa


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Published in:

Electricity+Control, June 2013 (pages 8 – 10)

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In recent years, bacteria and viruses have risen to the surface as a major threat to many aspects of public health. Infections acquired during time spent in hospital kill more people than breast cancer, auto accidents and AIDS combined. It is said that 80% of all infections are spread by touch and an infected hand can contaminate the next seven surfaces touched. Yet, 37% of healthcare workers still do not wash their hands enough. These micro-organisms survive on the surfaces of stainless steel, melamine, glass and other surfaces for weeks, incubating. For this reason antimicrobial copper surfaces should be used in environments where cleanliness is vital to human health, such as hospitals, ICUs, nursing homes, and food processing facilities.

Many studies published in recent years have shown that copper and its alloys have been effective antimicrobial agents. They also show that copper has been more effective than stainless steel in killing bacteria; in many cases, copper will kill bacteria when stainless steel will not..


Take note

  • No other material can match the properties of copper which is also 100% recyclable.
  • Copper and its alloys exhibit excellent electrical and thermal characteristics.
  • Antimicrobial copper, which is an alloy with 60% copper content, has been scientifically proven to be the most effective touch surface material, killing 99,9% bacteria.