Antimicrobial Copper is a solid metal surface material registered by the U.S. EPA to continuously kill bacteria*.
Products made from Antimicrobial Copper can be marketed with the following public health claims:
Laboratory testing has shown that when cleaned regularly:
- This surface continuously reduces bacterial* contamination, achieving 99.9% reduction within two hours of exposure.
- This surface kills greater than 99.9% of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria* within two hours of exposure.
- This surface delivers continuous and ongoing antibacterial* action, remaining effective in killing greater than 99.9% of bacteria* within two hours.
- This surface kills greater than 99.9% of bacteria* within two hours, and continues to kill more than 99% of bacteria* even after repeated contamination.
- This surface helps inhibit the buildup and growth of bacteria* within two hours of exposure between routine cleaning and sanitizing steps.
*Testing demonstrates effective antibacterial activity against: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE), Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7.
The EPA requires the following statement to be included when making public health claims related to the use of Antimicrobial Copper Alloys:
The use of a Copper Alloy surface is a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection control practices; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices, including those practices related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces. The Copper Alloy surface material has been shown to reduce microbial contamination, but it does not necessarily prevent cross-contamination.
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.