Copper Stops Bacteria in their Tracks

Brass sheet metal products are normally made from copper. They are fashioned for a variety of purposes, but in the most peculiar of ways, they protect medical patients from germs. Some healthcare facilities have taken this to heart by installing fixtures made of brass or bronze, such as handlebars and the plumbing grid. What gives copper-based alloys like brass and bronze the ability to combat and kill pathogens?

The International Copper Association states that copper ions are able to attack the bacteria’s membrane and strip it of vital fluids upon immediate contact. Researchers state that 99.9 percent of the bacteria will be out of commission within two hours of being left on the copper or brass surface. The findings were reached in tests involving bacteria-infected patients isolated in a room with copper surfaces and another with regular materials. Later data revealed a lower incidence of infections among patients in the copper-surface room.

With copper widely considered an “emerging health technology” in North America, the brass and bronze-producing sector is expected to see a peak in demand. The chemical properties of copper don’t change when it becomes quality brass sheet metal. This is because alloy-making only focuses on altering the metal’s physical appearance.

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