The surfaces of copper and copper alloys, such as brass and bronze, are naturally antimicrobial.
Copper alloys have an inherent ability to kill a wide range of harmful microbes relatively rapidly – often within two hours or less – and with a high degree of efficiency. When cleaned regularly, frequently touched surfaces such as door knobs, levers, hand rails, cabinet hardware and plumbing fixtures manufactured from uncoated copper alloy materials will continuously kill bacteria that cause infections.
Copper alloys are a popular choice for antimicrobial touch surface applications as they combine excellent strength, durability and corrosion resistance. This is especially true in healthcare facilities, where harmful viruses, bacteria, and fungi colonize and persist on door knobs, push plates, railings, tray tables, faucet handles, and other equipment. These microbes can often survive on surfaces for surprisingly long periods of time (sometimes more than 30 days) when other materials are used.
Antimicrobial copper-alloy touch surfaces can prevent frequently touched surfaces from serving as reservoirs for the spread of pathogenic microbes.