Which microbe has the shortest lifespan?

Antibacterial properties of copper

Antibacterial properties of copper

Copper is a stable material of a sustainable nature - a long service life and complete processability play an important role in ventilation, plumbing, cooling, heating and electrical installations.

The risk of microorganisms developing in HVAC systems and the possible formation of bacterial infections in the vicinity of air carried into rooms is a matter of great public concern. Copper components are recommended to resolve this issue. Under suitable conditions, this metal has bactericidal properties and acts as a static (biostatic) or biocidal agent with effectiveness and speed of action depending on the environmental conditions, the concentration of copper ions and the type of microorganisms.

Learn more about copper ventilation systems

Tests approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (1) show that copper destroys harmful bacteria, germs, microbes, pathogens, molds, fungi and viruses that come into contact with the surface of copper ventilation ducts.

Bacteria and viruses cause serious respiratory diseases and are very dangerous for people with a decreased immune system. For this reason, copper systems are used in particular in public health and medical facilities that accommodate patients who are particularly susceptible to microbes.

What do the latest studies say about copper and its effects on COVID-19?

A study was done in which one dose SARS-CoV-2- and SARS-CoV-1 viruses (TCID50, 50% of the infectious dose) per liter of air was applied. They were applied to copper, stainless steel and plastics at a temperature of 21 to 23 ° C at a relative humidity of 40%. The tests were carried out for 7 days. All samples were quantified by titration.

The graphs show the timing of virus distribution based on the estimated exponential virus disintegration rates. The dots indicate the median and the black lines represent 95% of the reliable range. All experimental measurements are reported as means of three replicates.

Fig. 1 Stability of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 viruses on different surfaces (2)

The stability of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 viruses on different surfaces was assessed and their rate of decay was estimated. According to research, germs on materials lasted the longest: stainless steel and plastic. The average half-life of viruses for stainless steel is 5.6 hours, for plastic it is 6.8 hours.
Copper has done the best in research, the shortest lifespan recorded here was only 2-3 hours. The above research is evidence that copper as a material has natural properties that kill a wide variety of microorganisms.

1. Rensing, C. and Grass, G. Metallic (2011) Copper as an antimicrobial surface. Applied and Environmental Microbiology Vol. 77: 1541-1547, American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
2. van Doremalen N et al. Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 compared to SARS-CoV-1. NEJM. Letter to the editor. DOI: 10.1056 / NEJMc2004973 (March 17, 2020)