EPA Registration

As speculated by the ancients, copper has the intrinsic ability to kill a variety of potentially harmful pathogens. In February of 2008, the Copper Development Association obtained EPA registration for 275 copper alloys with 65% or more nominal copper. Registered alloys include pure copper, an assortment of brasses and bronzes, and additional alloys. EPA-sanctioned tests using Good Laboratory Practices were conducted which allow public health claims to be made against: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, E. coli O157: H7 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Copper is the first solid material legally able to make antimicrobial public health claims. The claims include:

  • 99.9% continuous kill within two hours
  • >99.9% kill of Gram-negative & Gram-positive bacteria within two hours
  • >99.9% continuous kill within two hours after repeated wet & dry abrasion & recontamination
  • >99% kill after multiple, consecutive recontaminations
The use of copper alloy surfaces is a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection control practices; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices, including those practices related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces. The copper alloy surface material has been shown to reduce microbial contamination, but it does not necessarily prevent cross contamination. Claims are only valid for uncoated surfaces.