Copper and Covid 19
As we have highlighted before one of the big reasons we love copper so much is its versatility, and more specifically its ability to “self-clean”. Copper is an antimicrobial material
(1), meaning that it is toxic to organic life.
Copper is safe to touch for humans, however it can be unsafe to consume. This is the reason it is no longer recommended to cook on copper pans, especially with acidic foods.
With the Covid-19 pandemic there have been many studies into the viability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (that causes Covid-19) on many surfaces and how long it can survive. Copper has been used in medical settings due to its antimicrobial properties and has been included in many tests because of this.
The study found that comparatively “SARS-CoV-2 remained active on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for two to three days”.
When compared to materials commonly used in plumbing situations such as stainless steel and plastic, copper offers a much faster ability to destroy SARS-CoV-2 which can help to keep you and your family safer at home.
The history of Antimicrobial Copper
A 2010 study tested copper as an alternative material to aid in the reduction of Hospital-Acquired-Infections (HAIs). The report “Copper Surfaces Reduce the Rate of Healthcare-Acquired Infections in the Intensive Care Unit”(3), showed a reduction in infections from 8.1% in traditional rooms to 3.4% in rooms fitted with copper touch surfaces.
Looking further back in history we can see many uses of copper and copper alloys to prevent infections. The Smith Papyrus shows the first recorded use of copper for medical reasons. This Egyptian medical text, written between 2600 and 2200 B.C., describes the application of copper to sterilize chest wounds and drinking water. (4) Copper has been shown throughout our history to help curb infections, in the 19th century it was found that copper miners in Paris, France showed an immunity to cholera during the 1832 outbreak.
When properly maintained copper surfaces have been shown to reduce Viral and Bacterial loads and destroy them in short periods of time.
1: Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Antimicrobial. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved April 29, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/antimicrobial
2: The New England Journal of Medicine. Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1. April 16, 2020, Dr. van Doremalen, Mr. Bushmaker, and Mr. Morris. Retrieved April 29, 2020, from https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2004973
3: Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. (2013, April 9). Copper surfaces reduce the rate of health care-acquired infections in the ICU. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 30, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130409110014.htm
4: Historic uses of copper compounds in medicine. Dollwet, H. H. A., and J. R. J. Sorenson. 1985. Retrieved from https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?journal=Trace+Elem.+Med.&volume=2&publication_year=1985&pages=80&