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Antimicrobial Properties of Copper

Metallic copper is inherently antimicrobial and kills bacteria rapidly*. In contrast, bacteria can survive for days on stainless steel surfaces. Copper is registered as a solid antimicrobial material at the US Environmental Protection Agency.

 
 

The CopperPen for Hygiene

It has been shown that frequently touched objects which cannot readily be sanitized, such as keyboards, cell phones, or pens are often heavily populated by bacteria. The CopperPen helps to reduce such microbial contamination by the antimicrobial properties of copper*. The body and knob of the CopperPen are made of 99.9% copper (C12200/ C11000), the clip is of hardened steel, plated with 20 µm of copper for durability.

 

The 'Copper Smell'

Copper and copper-containing alloys like brass develop a characteristic smell when touched. This is due to the formation of trace amounts of volatile aldehydes and ketones when copper comes into contact with the human skin. The human nose is extremely sensitive for these compounds, but they are of no health concern. In fact, the copper smell distinguishes real copper from fake, copper-looking materials.

 

Care of the CopperPen

The CopperPen will never loose its antimicrobial properties if cleaned regularly. Light abrasives such as toothpaste or a microfibre cloth will help to restore its original look. The pen should not be treated with oil, wax, or anti-tarnishing agents, as this will impair the antimicrobial properties.

 

*Laboratory testing showed that, when cleaned regularly, copper kills greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE), Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Copper surfaces are a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection control practices and have been shown to reduce microbial contamination, but do not necessarily prevent cross contamination; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices.
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