THERE IS BEAUTY IN SIMPLICITY
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COPPER and COPPER ALLOYS as ANTIMICROBIALS
Many Metals Cause Death of Microbes (Mercury, Silver, Bismuth, Copper….). Copper is unique. In its solid form, it is an effective antimicrobial in reasonable time frames while being physically inert to mammals. It is an essential micronutrient (United States Recommended Daily Allowance of 0.9 g/day) ingested as copper ions as part of a normal diet or supplement. In its un-ionized solid forms, copper is durable and wear resistant. As such, it can be formed into various useful configurations while maintaining its antimicrobial properties.
While our ancestors may not have related “antimicrobial” activity to their use of copper, they realized that water held or carried in buckets made of copper or copper alloys was not slimy when compared to water held or carried in buckets made of wood. Copper piping provided water of greater clarity and less odor than many other piping materials. And copper has been/is used in roof construction or placed in strips at the higher level rows of roofing shingles to reduce or eliminate mold growth on the roofs. Copper is also used, particularly in brass form, to prevent bio-marine fouling.
Examples of Microbes Killed by Solid Copper or Copper Alloys:
Drug Resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Influenza A virus
HOW DOES BIOCOPPER WORK?
When a germ comes in contact with copper, the copper causes the outer membrane of the germ to rupture. Once ruptured, the germ’s cell contents interact with the copper and their function is destroyed, thus killing the germ.