Copper and its alloys are naturally antimicrobial—they destroy germs without the use of bleach or other chemicals, a quality that has been recognized in some form for thousands of years. For example, ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Greeks, and Aztecs used copper to treat wounds and sterilize water.
Today, antimicrobial copper can be used on high-touch surfaces to help prevent the spread of germs. It begins to kill bacteria such as E. Coli and superbugs like MRSA within minutes, even though these microbes can live on other hard surfaces for days. A 2015 study demonstrated that copper could deactivate human coronavirus 229E, and more recent studies have indicated it’s as effective against COVID-19 as well. Given its long-proven ability to combat pathogens, there is a call to use more copper surfaces in hospitals and high-touch public areas.
Antimicrobial Copper Products
Antimicrobial copper breaks down pathogens in a complex process. Copper ions enter the pathogen cell after the cell recognizes them as vital nutrients. The ions rupture the cell membrane, weakening it. As copper ions continue to flow into the cell, they increasingly interfere with the cell’s metabolism until the pathogen can no absorb nutrients or multiply. Antimicrobial copper products have demonstrated their ability to do this with a wide variety of viruses and bacteria.
A treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 could be months or years in the making. Our best course of action for now is to stop the spread, and antimicrobial copper can play a role in that process.
Antimicrobial Copper Laminating Film
While it may be prohibitively expensive or time-consuming to replace every surface in a facility with copper, Adams Plastics has come up with an alternative: an antimicrobial copper laminate. It’s easy to apply over existing materials and offers the same sterilizing properties. It’s a semi-permanent solution that can easily be reapplied when the original antimicrobial film gets damaged. Like copper itself, it’s safe for humans and safe for the environment.
This antimicrobial laminate can be applied to a wide variety of high-touch surfaces:
- Grocery cart handles
- Public transportation handles
- Stair railings
- Toilet handles
- Elevator buttons
- Card readers
- Mobile phone protective screen covers
The medical industry in particular would benefit from the use of antimicrobial copper products in hospitals and clinics. Studies have shown as much as a 90% reduction in live bacteria on high-touch surfaces in busy hospitals and intensive care units.
Get In Touch With Adams Plastics
Adams Plastics was founded in 1967, and over the last five decades we’ve become a leader in plastic film and recycling. We provide vinyl film, imitation leather, and laminate—as well as plastics recycling—for the healthcare, hospitality, marine, and automotive industries. With the rise of COVID-19, we saw the opportunity to put our years of experience with films and laminates to use to create an antimicrobial laminate that may serve us all during this health crisis—and through any that may arise in the future.