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355 Copper Alloys Now Approved by EPA as Antimicrobial
Jun 28, 2011
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently approved the registration of an additional 73 copper alloys as antimicrobial, bringing the number of EPA-registered antimicrobial copper alloys to 355. The registration allows public health claims to be made regarding the efficacy of the alloys in killing certain harmful, potentially deadly bacteria.

The registration was granted based on independent laboratory tests showing that, when cleaned regularly, copper, brass, and bronze kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: MRSA, Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE), Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7. MRSA is one of the most virulent strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and a common cause of hospital- and community-acquired infections.

The Copper Development Association said that the use of EPA-registered copper alloys for frequently touched surfaces, as a supplement to hand-washing and disinfection regimens, has far-reaching implications, especially in medical and hygiene applications.

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