Resource Links and Excerpts
The following citations and excerpts from copper research reports summarize the conclusions. Scientific findings discussed in this article should not be interpreted as product performance claims.
The purpose of this article is not a comprehensive review of the scientific literature, but rather a summary and sampling of the overwhelming scientific evidence of the anti-pathogen properties of copper.
Copper Development Association:
"Copper alloy materials with at least 95.6% copper covered by the Group I registration (Reg. Nos. 82012-1) are permitted to make public health claims (e.g. continuously kills >99.9% in 2 hours) against 3 specific viruses: Human Coronavirus 229E, Rhinovirus Type 37, and Rotavirus Strain WA. Group I alloys are also permitted to make emerging viral pathogen claims against SARS-CoV-2 and future enveloped and large non-enveloped viral pathogens under the conditions established in the EPA guidelines. Group I copper alloys are the first and only materials on EPA's List N Appendix, which is the Agency's list of residual virucidal products that can be used to combat SARS-CoV-2."
American Society for Microbiology:
National Institutes of Health:
Decades of scientific research have demonstrated over and over that copper kills germs on contact. (A list of micro-organisms found to be killed, inactivated, or inhibited by copper appears in the Appendix at the bottom of this article.)
“The antimicrobial activity of copper and copper alloys is now well established, and copper has recently been registered at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the first solid antimicrobial material.”
“Science supporting the EPA registration … has sparked a global campaign advocating the use of these materials to improve infection control in healthcare facilities, mass transit, educational institutions and beyond. … The only solid antimicrobial touch surface approved by the EPA. Never wears out. … Natural tarnishing does not impair efficacy. Safe to use. Not harmful to people or the environment. … Completely recyclable.”
“Antimicrobial Copper surfaces in hospital rooms can reduce the number of healthcare-acquired infections by 58 percent.” (“Antimicrobial Copper” is a trademark of the Copper Development Association.)
“The surfaces of copper and its alloys, such as brass and bronze, are antimicrobial. They have an inherent ability to kill a wide range of harmful microbes relatively rapidly with a high degree of efficacy. These antimicrobial properties have been demonstrated by an extensive body of research.”
“Metallic copper surfaces kill microbes on contact, decimating their populations, according to a paper in the February 2011 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. They do so literally in minutes, by causing massive membrane damage after about a minute’s exposure, says the study’s corresponding author, Gregor Grass of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
“When microbes were exposed to copper surfaces, we observed contact killing to take place at the rate of tens to hundreds of millions of bacterial cells within minutes, says Grass. This means that usually no live micro-organisms can be recovered from copper surfaces after exposure.”
“The healing power of copper has been recognized for thousands of years. More than 4,000 years ago, the Egyptians used it to sterilize wounds and drinking water and the Aztecs treated skin conditions with the metal. The ancient Greeks also knew of its benefits. Hippocrates, sometimes called ‘the father of medicine’, noted that it could be used to treat leg ulcers. Today, copper is a common constituent in medicines including antiseptic and antifungal creams.”
“Copper is considered safe to humans, as demonstrated by the widespread and prolonged use of copper intrauterine devices (IUDs) by women. In contrast to the low sensitivity of human tissue (skin or other) to copper, microorganisms are extremely susceptible to copper.”
Appendix: Partial List of Micro-organisms Found To Be Killed, Inactivated, or Inhibited by Solid Copper or Copper Compounds, Solutions or Filters.
Achromobacter fischeri[W1], Acinetobacter baumanii[B2][W5], Acinetobacter johnsonii[B2], Actinomucor elegans[W1], Adenovirus Type 1[W1][W5][A19], Aspergillus carbonarius, Aspergillus flavus[B2], Aspergillus fumigatus[B2], Aspergillus niger[W1][B2], Aspergillus oryzae, Aspergillus spp.[W1][A8], Bacillus macerans, Bacillus megaterium[W1], Bacillus subtilis[W1], Bacterium linens[W1], Brachybacterium conglomeratum[B2], Brevibacterium erythrogenes[W1], C. difficile (Clostridium difficile)[W1][B2][W5], Campylobacter jejuni[B2][A8], Candida albicans[W1][B2][W5], Candida utilis[W1], Citrobacter, Coxsackie virus types B2 & B4[A8], CRS (Ciprofloxacin-resistant Staphylococcus)[B2], Cryptococcus neoformans, Cytomegalovirus[A19], D. radiodurans (Deinococcus radiodurans)[B2], E. coli (Escherichia coli, including E. coli O157:H7)[W1][B2][W5][A8], EMRSA[B2], Echovirus 4[A8], Enterobacter aurogenes[W5], Enterococci, Enterococcus faecalis[A8]Enterococcus hirae[B2], Enterococcus spp.[B2][W5], Epidermophyton floccusum, Fusarium culmonium[B2], Fusarium oxysporum[B2], Fusarium solani[B2], Fusarium spp.[W1], Hartmannella vermiformis[A8], HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1)[A8][A19], HSV (herpes simplex virus)[A8], Infectious Bronchitis Virus, Influenza A[W1][B2][W5][A19], Junin Virus, Klebsiella pneumoniae[B2][W5][A8], Legionella pneumophila[A8], Listeria monocytogenes[B2], Measles[A19], Microsporum canis, MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)[W1][B2][W5][A8], MSSA (Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus)[B2], MTB (Mycobacterium tuberculosis)[B2], Myrothecium verrucaria, Naegleria fowleria[A8], Pantoea stewartii[B2], Parainfluenza 3[A19], Paramecium caudatum[W1], Penicillium chrysogenum[W1][B2], Photobacterium phosphoreum[W1], Pichinde, Poliovirus[W1][A8], Pseudomonas aeruginosa[B2][W5][A8], Pseudomonas flouorescens, Pseudomonas oleovorans[B2], Pseudomonas striata, Punta Toro[A19], Respiratory Syncytial Virus[A19], Rhinovirus 2[A19], Rhizopus niveus[W1], Rothecium verrucaria, Saccharomyces cerevisiae[W1][B2], Saccharomyces mandshuricus[W1], Salmonella enterica[B2][A8], Salmonella sp. , Salmonella typhimurium, Shewanella putrefaciens, Shigella flexnerii, Simian rotavirus SA11[A8], Staphylococcus aureus[W5][A8], Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus spp.[W5], Staphylococcus warnerii[B2], Streptococcus[W5], Streptococcus group D[A8], Streptococcus sanguis[A8], Tetrahymena pyriformis[A8], Torulopsis pintolopesii, Torulopsis utilis[W1], Trichoderma viride, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Trichophyton rubrum, Tubercle bacillus[W1], Vaccinia[A19], VRE (Vancomycin-resistant enterococci)[B2][W5], West Nile Virus[A8], Yellow Fever[A19]