Antimicrobial Heavy Metal

**Although some might argue that liberal, high-volume doses of Metallica and Fear Factory peel the paint off walls, actual elemental metals are gaining increased attention for their antimicrobial properties.

A release from the Copper Development Association touts the association’s receipt of congressionally appropriated funds “to continue clinical trials determining the antimicrobial effectiveness of copper, brass and bronze” in two separate studies.

One study focuses on “the ability of copper alloy surfaces to kill deadly pathogens and impede cross contamination. The monies will be used to complete the pilot conversion of touch surfaces in healthcare facilities in New York City and Charleston, S.C., where extensive clinical trials have begun.”

Based on the same premise, the second study “is designed to demonstrate the effectiveness of copper components in heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems in reducing the incidence of harmful microbes that spread through buildings and other indoor air environments.”

Lest anyone doubt such utilities, research on copper’s antimicrobial properties has been ongoing in various clinical and laboratory settings for several years, often with the funding of the U.S. government. In fact, a previous study conducted by ATS Labs in Eagan, Mich. under test protocols established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed copper alloys to be more than 99.9 percent effective “on five pathogens commonly found in healthcare facilities,” according to CDA.