Introduction to Antimicrobial Copper

Antimicrobial Copper can make the hospital environment more hygienic by killing bacteria* on frequently touched surfaces.

When cleaned regularly, Antimicrobial Copper alloys are the only solid metal touch surface materials registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continuously kill more than 99.9% of bacteria* that cause HAIs within two hours of contact.

Science supporting the EPA registration has proven Antimicrobial Copper to be a highly effective* touch surface materials and has sparked a global campaign advocating the use of these materials to supplement infection control in healthcare facilities, mass transit, educational institutions and beyond.

Three main characteristics make Antimicrobial Copper a highly effective* touch surface material:

Continuously kills bacteria*

  • Efficacy as an antimicrobial is proven far more effective than stainless steel
  • Proven to continuously kill the bacteria* that cause infections
  • The only solid metal antimicrobial touch surfaces registered by EPA

Never wears out

  • Continuous and ongoing antimicrobial action
  • Remains effective even after repeated wet & dry abrasion and re-contamination
  • Natural tarnishing does not impair efficacy

Safe to use

  • Not harmful to people or the environment
  • Inherently antimicrobial, no chemicals added
  • Completely recyclable

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Copper and copper alloys are engineering materials that are durable, colourful and recyclable and are widely available in various product forms suitable for a range of manufacturing purposes. Copper and its alloys offer a suite of materials for designers of functional, sustainable and cost-effective products.

Some specific copper alloys have intrinsic antimicrobial properties (so-called ‘Antimicrobial Copper’) and products made from these materials have an additional, secondary benefit of contributing to hygienic design. Products made from Antimicrobial Copper are a supplement to, not a substitute for standard infection control practices. It is important that current hygiene practices are continued, including those related to the cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces.

*Laboratory testing shows that, when cleaned regularly, antimicrobial copper surfaces kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: MRSA, VRE, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7. Antimicrobial copper surfaces are a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection control practices and have been shown to reduce microbial contamination, but do not necessarily prevent cross contamination or infections; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices.