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Copper surfaces can kill Covid-19 within two hours, US agency announces

Copper surfaces can kill Covid-19 within two hours, US agency announces

Photo: A worker installs a CuGrip Goods Ltd. adhesive copper wrap on a door handle in downtown Victoria, British Columbia, Canada | CREDIT: James MacDonald/Bloomberg

 

Copper alloys can eliminate 99.9 percent of Covid-19 within two hours, the EPA said

By Lizzie Roberts,

 

Copper surfaces can kill Covid-19 within two hours, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced.

By registering that certain copper alloys can provide long-term effectiveness against the disease, products can now be sold alongside the claim they can kill Covid-19, the EPA said.

Surfaces such as door knobs and handrails can be manufactured using antimicrobial copper alloys, the EPA said, and can be used alongside standard standard infection control procedures.

In trials testing the surfaces the EPA found "certain high-percentage copper alloy products can continuously kill viruses that come into contact with them. 

"Based on testing against harder-to-kill viruses, EPA expects these products to eliminate 99.9 percent of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, within two hours."

It's understood the EPA's decision took into account research from experts at the University of Southampton, who previously reported that copper alloys were effective at killing other viruses such as MERS.

The Southampton team have recently completed research, which is yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, which shows copper surfaces can kill Covid-19 in less than one minute.

"Copper alloy surfaces are better than other surfaces for inactivating coronaviruses and preventing their spread via fomite contact," the authors wrote.

Professor Bill Keevil, of the University of Southampton and co-author of the paper, told The Telegraph he was “delighted” his team’s work contributed to the EPA recognising the effectiveness of copper alloys as an anti-coronavirus surface.

“This is the first time that any metal has achieved this antibacterial and antiviral distinction,” he said.

“Antimicrobial copper surfaces have already been used in hospitals, reducing infection rated by over 58 per cent, and also transport systems worldwide.   

“The new ruling, in accepting long term residual activity against the Covid-19 virus and other important viruses, really opens the way for the mass application of copper alloys and coatings in many areas of society.

“Prevention is better than cure, particularly when there is no cure, and deploying copper alloy surfaces working 24/7 buys time while new vaccines and therapeutic interventions can be developed against viruses, their emerging variants and antimicrobial resistant superbugs.”

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