Copper and copper alloys for the healthcare sector

By E Swanepoel, Copper Development Association Africa


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Published in:

Electricity+Control, July 2013 (pages 36 - 38)

Enquiries: Copper Development Association Africa.

Tel. 011 824 3916 or email



In recent years, it has been reported that 80% of all infections are spread by touch, and a contaminated hand can infect the next seven surfaces it touches. Hospitals, in particular, faced with the problem of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs), are looking more closely at the role of the facility’s environment in the spread of these infections as hand washing campaigns alone have failed to control the problem.

With antimicrobial surfaces, disease causing pathogens such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile or C difficile (a bacterium that can cause symptoms ranging from diarrhoea to life-threatening inflammation of the colon), Influenza A (H1N1 or Swine ‘Flu) and Norovirus (highly contagious stomach bug), are rapidly and continuously eliminated, as research has shown that antimicrobial copper surfaces harbour 95 to 99% less microbial contamination than equivalent non-copper surfaces.


Take note

  • Copper is a powerful antimicrobial substance.
  • Copper offers a broad spectrum efficacy against pathogens that may threaten public health.
  • Copper is easily worked and fully recyclable.