Disinfecting effect of copper on SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses

  • Thread starter Astronuc
  • Start date
  • #1
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
19,283
2,785
When researchers reported last month that the novel coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic survives for days on glass and stainless steel but dies within hours after landing on copper, the only thing that surprised Bill Keevil was that the pathogen lasted so long on copper
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/copper-virus-kill-180974655/

Keevil, a microbiology researcher at the University of Southampton (U.K.), has studied the antimicrobial effects of copper for more than two decades. He has watched in his laboratory as the simple metal slew one bad bug after another. He began with the bacteria that causes Legionnaire's Disease and then turned to drug-resistant killer infections like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). He tested viruses that caused worldwide health scares such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Swine Flu (H1N1) pandemic of 2009. In each case, copper contact killed the pathogen within minutes. "It just blew it apart," he says.

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/new-coronavirus-stable-hours-surfaces
The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in The New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

The effect of copper seems to be independently verified. One should continue to use hand sanitizer and wear a protective face cover/mask.
 
  • Informative
  • Like
Likes troglodyte, scottdave, Tom.G and 5 others

Answers and Replies

  • #2
The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University scientists in The New England Journal of Medicine. The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The results provide key information about the stability of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 disease, and suggests that people may acquire the virus through the air and after touching contaminated objects. The study information was widely shared during the past two weeks after the researchers placed the contents on a preprint server to quickly share their data with colleagues.
 
  • #3
  • #4
  • #5
72
86
Most bronze and brass contains enough copper to be completely self sterilizing in eight hours according to the other physics forums articles. (Physorg?)

Turns out to be an ideal material for railings and doorknobs, before people even knew about microorganisms.
 
  • #6
jim mcnamara
Mentor
4,325
2,960
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/201...ng-and-Disinfection-of-Environmental-Surfaces

This is the CDC's current guidelines. In general surfaces need to be cleaned when pathogenic contamination is possible. However Covid transmission from surface to infect humans is low compared to airborne transmission, apparently by a large factor. SARS-Cov-2 is transmitted mostly by airborne particles.

As expressed above in other posts cladding everything with copper is beyond expensive and because the surface to human transmission of the disease is very low, it is an unacceptably low ROI to copper clad every public surface in every public building and many houses too.

Example:
As of this note, 20ga 12inch X 12inch copper sheets sell for US$11.40
To cover my front door on both sides, including handles would be 36 sheets * 11.40 = US$410.40. Actually my house has three exterior doors :oldgrumpy: so we are over US$1200. Buying copper door hardware is alternate choice and exspensive as well.

When surface disinfection is deemed necessary, surface disinfectants are very effective against SARS-Cov-2. Example, 1% bleach solution is very effective.

Thanks to everyone for helping the thread along. It is at an endpoint now.
Thread closed.
 
  • #7
1,835
1,168
To cover my front door on both sides, including handles
To cover the whole door would be a bit of an overkill, I think :woot:

There was another topic about this, about usage in hospitals. What come up there still stands. Copper is a very mild disinfectant. May help to cover slip-ups in cleaning, but in itself it's just not good enough.
As a doorknob, more nice than useful:doh:
 
  • Like
Likes BillTre and jim mcnamara

Related Threads on Disinfecting effect of copper on SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses

Replies
66
Views
2K
Replies
7
Views
406
  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
927
Replies
0
Views
241
  • Last Post
3
Replies
57
Views
3K
Replies
13
Views
950
Replies
7
Views
455
Replies
1
Views
198
Top