Designboom – Copper Kills viruses and bacteria so why aren’t our surfaces covered in it?

copper — a material with the power to kill bacteria and viruses in their tracks — has long been exploited for its health benefits. in ancient times, egyptian and babylonian soldiers would use it to sterilise their wounds; the greeks, romans and aztecs used it to treat headaches and ear infections; and in india, copper vessels have been used for millennia in the transportation of water. so why don’t we use it for surfaces in hospitals, toilets, or public spaces? well…


it’s right that today, we understand why copper is strong against viruses: because it is antimicrobial. it kills bacteria. when influenzas, bacteria like E. coli, superbugs like MRSA, they can die within minutes and are undetectable within hours. that’s a massive difference compared to the four to five days they can last on other surfaces. what’s more, copper and its alloys like brasses, bronzes, cupronickel, copper-nickel-zinc can self-sterilize its surface without the need for electricity or bleach.

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copper kills viruses and bacteria so why aren’t our surfaces covered in it?

Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.