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Not Just Another Pretty Sink
I received the following press release from Native Trails, a manufacturer specializing in handcrafted copper products:
Studies Show Copper Inhibits Growth of Bacteria and Viruses
In the war on germs, people usually don’t think of their sink as a weapon. But, it just might be. There is scientific evidence now to show that copper kills 99 percent of bacteria, including super bugs like MRSA, within two hours of contact. Research also has shown that H1N1, commonly referred to as the swine flu virus, likewise does not surivive on copper. Based on a review of the studies and its own independent lab tests, the United States Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year announced that copper has antimicrobial properties, capable of killing bacteria as well as viruses.
A little sleuthing revealed that this news is not new. EPA announced in February 2008 that it had registered five copper-containing alloy products and would allow the Copper Development Association (CDA), a trade group, to market these products with a claim that copper, when used in accordance with the label, “kills 99.9% of bacteria within two hours.”
An article in the New York Times speculated that hospitals and other healthcare facilities would be the initial market for this product. A spokesperson for CDA said, “said clinical trials were under way to test how copper bed rails, arm rests and other hospital fixtures can reduce the numbers of bacteria in hospitals.”
Native Trails reports that three US hospitals, including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, are looking into the practical applications of copper’s antimicrobial qualities. A study is underway to determine whether the rates of hospital-acquired infections might be reduced by replacing high-contact surfaces in ICUs with items made from copper and copper alloys.
And, you thought copper sinks were just pretty to look at.