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September 29, 2009

Copper Sinks Fight Germs

Germaphobes will be especially interested in a growing design trend that spreads cleanliness: There is now scientific evidence to show that copper kills 99 percent of bacteria, including super bugs like MRSA, within two hours of contact. Research also has shown that H1N1, commonly referred to as the swine flu virus, likewise does not survive on copper. Based on a review of the studies and its own independent lab tests, the United States Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year announced that copper has antimicrobial properties, capable of killing bacteria as well as viruses. And we thought they just looked good.

A copper sink has become a popular design choice for the home. Few customers were aware, though, of its germ fighting status as they chose one for its uniqueness, unusual color or handwrought texture. “The anti-microbial characteristic has come as a pleasant surprise benefit to consumers and designers alike,” says Naomi Howard, president of Native Trails, the country’s largest producer of hand-hammered sinks and tubs. “A copper sink is not a substitute for good hygienic practices, but it’s nice to know that the copper surface actually has a role in disinfecting your sink.”

Copper’s germ-fighting properties aren’t a new discovery, but rather a very old one that is being put to modern scientific tests and applications. In many ancient cultures, healers used copper and copper powder to remedy a variety of maladies. For example, ancient Egyptians used copper to sterilize drinking water and disinfect chest wounds. The Aztecs used it to cure sore throats, and Persians used it to treat infections.

Three US hospitals, including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, are looking into the practical applications of copper’s antimicrobial qualities. A study is underway to determine whether the rates of hospital-acquired infections might be reduced by replacing high-contact surfaces in ICUs with items made from copper and copper alloys.

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Comment on This Article Here! Copper Sinks Fight Germs:

Very interesting that copper is catching on in this way. Another ancient culture that used, and still uses, copper is the Indian natural medicine system Ayur Veda. People put water in a copper cup overnight, and drinking it is said to help the body remove toxins and reduce excess heat in the body.

Posted by: memory foam | Oct 1, 2009 2:07:52 AM

That's a nice surprise to find out about such healing ability of copper. Their design, thought and colors seem to me not much compatible to some countertops materials.

Posted by: countertop | Nov 19, 2009 7:28:49 AM

Every homeowner looks for different ways to improve the overall looks of a home. Home improvement stores and websites are out there to suggest ideas and materials needed for bringing around the desired changes.

Posted by: copper fittings | Jul 30, 2011 1:54:17 AM

It's a cool feature of copper. Perhaps it can appeal to people who value a lot of cleanliness. Of course, aside from the fact that copper provides a very snazzy look to any home, its germ-fighting abilities are a sweet bonus.

Posted by: Lawrence Halter | Jun 2, 2012 2:09:09 PM

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