Antimicrobial Copper: an innovative weapon in the fight to improve hygiene in healthcare
Antimicrobial Copper provides a second line of defense against harmful bacteria and must be cared for in order to work effectively.
To download the Proper Care and Use document, click here.
As a condition to the registration of Antimicrobial Copper as
the first touch surface material that continuously kills bacteria*,
the Environmental Protection Agency required Copper Development
Association to institute a Product Stewardship Program. The
purpose of the program is to ensure the proper use and care of
these innovative materials. The Stewardship Program promotes
the responsible use of Antimicrobial Copper and clarifies
misleading statements discovered in various media.
The use of Antimicrobial Copper surfaces does not replace
standard hospital infection control and prevention procedures and
good hygienic practices such as hand washing. Antimicrobial Copper
surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized regularly according to
standard practices, just like other surfaces. .
Antimicrobial Copper surfaces may be subject to recontamination
and the level of active bacteria at any particular time will depend
on the frequency and timing of recontamination and cleanliness of
the surface (among other factors).
Antimicrobial Copper surfaces must not be waxed, painted,
lacquered, varnished, or otherwise coated.
Routine cleaning to remove dirt and filth is necessary for good
hygiene and to ensure the effective antimicrobial performance of
the copper alloy surface. Cleaning agents typically used for
traditional touch surfaces are permissible and should be used in
accordance with the product label. The appropriate cleaning
agent depends on the type of soiling and the measure of
sanitization required. Normal tarnishing or wear of Antimicrobial
Copper surfaces will not impair the antimicrobial effectiveness of
the product as the antimicrobial property is inherent to the bulk
These products are not approved for use in any form that has
direct food contact or as food packaging.
Antimicrobial Copper surfaces may be used in hospitals, other
healthcare facilities, and various public, commercial, and
residential buildings for approved non-food contact surfaces.
Surfaces that may be exposed to outdoor environmental conditions
(e.g. handrails, shopping carts, and ATM machines) are not
representative of indoor laboratory test conditions, and therefore,
may impart reduced efficacy if not cleaned when visibly soiled.
*Laboratory testing shows that, when cleaned regularly,
antimicrobial copper surfaces kill greater than 99.9% of the
following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: MRSA, VRE,
Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas
aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7. Antimicrobial copper surfaces
are a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection
control practices and have been shown to reduce microbial
contamination, but do not necessarily prevent cross contamination
or infections; users must continue to follow all current infection