Bacteria Beware - Copper Power!

Yesterday it was Science Friday on National Public Radio (NPR). Its a weekly feature on the afternoon show Talk of the Nation (2-4pm EST).

We were en route while the program was on. Ira Flatow and guests discussed the anti-microbial properties of copper. Yes, copper...that humble and beautifully hued metal.

In March 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency, "approved the registration of antimicrobial copper alloys, with public health claims. These public health claims acknowledge that copper, brass and bronze are capable of killing harmful, potentially deadly bacteria."

Studies have shown that when copper (or its alloy) is cleaned properly it will, "kill more than 99.9% of several bacteria known to be human pathogens within two hours." These includee:

  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Enterobacter aerogenes
  • Escherichia coli O157:H7
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa and
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Several hospitals (including Sloane-Kettering in NYC) are replacing surfaces that are often touched with ones made of copper. Hopefully, this will make for less people getting more sick from infections acquired at hospitals.

Copper's superpower is very exciting! i am a little over the moon...

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