The inherent bactericidal properties of copper have been known since ancient Egyptian times, but it was not until the 21st century that copper’s efficacy against bacteria was proven in the laboratories of the U.S. EPA.* As a result of those tests, in 2011 CuVerro® bactericidal copper alloys were registered by the EPA, becoming the first class of solid surfaces to be officially recognized for their bactericidal properties.
The distinction between “antimicrobial” and “bactericidal” is an important one. Antimicrobial refers to substances that by definition slow, suppress, inhibit or destroy microbes. A variety of surface coatings and additives that claim antimicrobial properties are available today, but these products do not actually kill bacteria, only inhibit its growth while retarding odors, staining and surface deterioration caused by bacteria.
Bactericidal substances, on the other hand, literally kill bacteria on contact – including some of the most virulent infectious strains** responsible for many hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). CuVerro works continuously, never wears out, and is harmless to humans and the environment. When cleaned regularly, CuVerro surfaces kill 99.9% of infectious bacteria** within 2 hours of contact and continue to kill 99% of bacteria** 24/7. There’s no “catch.”
Once the effectiveness of CuVerro bactericidal touch surfaces became clear to healthcare industry manufacturers, the rush was on to develop a wide variety of products made with CuVerro– from sinks and faucets to bed rails, medical carts and tables, wall switches and many others. Soon interest expanded beyond healthcare facilities and into other settings where the bactericidal benefits of CuVerro made sense, like schools, hotels, public transit, private homes and offices.
Today, CuVerro is affiliated with over 20 different manufacturers who together produce dozens of distinct products boasting CuVerro bactericidal copper surfaces. And as word continues to spread about CuVerro, more and more companies are sure to join the club.
You might say we’ve only just scratched the surface.
* For detailed information on U.S. EPA testing, visit http://cuverro.com/tested-proven-trusted/scientific-proof/epa-tests.
**Laboratory testing shows that, when cleaned regularly, CuVerro surfaces kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, E. coli O157:H7, and Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE). The use of CuVerro® bactericidal copper products is a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection control practices; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices, including those practices related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces. This surface has been shown to reduce microbial contamination, but it does not necessarily prevent cross contamination. CuVerro® is a registered trademark of GBC Metals, LLC. See www.CuVerro.com, call 1-877-311-2883, or email CuVerro@olinbrass.com for more details.