Does Copper Kill Germs?

Who knew that copper had virus-killing powers? It seems like there is more to copper than it simply being a metal. It may seem far-fetched, but science backs the claim that copper kills germs. The fact is that humans have long been using copper for its anti-infection properties, dating as far back as 1,600 BC. The Chinese were pioneers in using copper to prevent wounds from becoming infected and treating certain diseases. How is this all possible with something that is metal? What is it that you don’t know about copper and its ability to kill germs?

Copper Kills Germs

The big question is, how does copper kill germs? Researchers have rediscovered the germ-killing power of cooper in recent times. Bill Keevil, a microbiology researcher has studied the antimicrobial effects of copper for over 20 years and discovered that copper killed pathogens in just a couple of minutes. From the bacteria responsible for Legionnaire’s Disease and then turned to viruses that caused the Swine Flu (H1N1) in 2009, copper has proven effective. Common germs that cooper is known to kill include, MRSA, E. coli, Influenza A and Norovirus according to a 2015 study

Further research has revealed that the virus SARS-CoV-2, which is the cause of the coronavirus pandemic, is no longer infectious on copper around 4 hours of exposure, but can survive on plastic and stainless surfaces for roughly 72 hours. 

How Copper Kills Germs

The power of copper rest in its antimicrobial properties but “contact killing” is necessary if the bacteria or virus is to be killed. In essence, the microorganism must come in contact with the copper to be killed. Edward Bilsky, Ph.D., Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, claims that copper can kill germs in several ways, including:

  • Copper ions damage bacterial cell membranes or “envelopes” and destroy the DNA or RNA of the microbe
  • Copper oxidative stress on bacterial cells and creates hydrogen peroxide that can kill the cell
  • Copper disrupts protein function from keeping bacterial cells alive, although it’s not understood how the protein interference occurs.

While all this research finding is promising, there’s still a lot of work to be done if one day copper will be used as a microbial fighter in everyday life.

Until copper can be used to keep you free of germs and healthy, Let My Safe Meeting keep you and your home safe. Our dedicated team of skilled professionals can provide you with top-notch service. We provide quality in every aspect of our business so you know we have you covered. Give us a call today at 978-267-1080