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Copper Development Association

A New England Journal of Medicine article authored by van Doremalen et al. reported that Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the newly emerged strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19 infections, retains infectivity in aerosols and on a variety of common surfaces for extended periods of time.  Most significantly, while the virus remained infective on plastic and 304 stainless steel for up to 48-72 hours, inactivation was observed in 4 hours on a 99.9% copper alloy.

Another coronavirus, Human Coronavirus 229E (Hu-CoV-229E) causes a broad spectrum of lung disorders.  An article published in 2015 authored by Warnes et al.3 showed that Hu-CoV-229E remained infectious following exposure to polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE or Teflon), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), ceramic tile, glass, silicone rubber, and stainless steel, but was rapidly inactivated on copper and on a range of copper-zinc and copper-nickel alloys. Complete loss of infectious activity was reached after as little as a 5-minute exposure, depending on the particular alloy tested.  Not only was the inactivation rapid but it was accompanied by the irreversible destruction of viral RNA and massive structural damages.

References:

van Doremalen, N. T. et al., 2020.  Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1.  N. Engl. Jour. Med. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2004973

Warnes, S.L., Z.R. Little, C.W. Keevil, 2015.  Human coronavirus 229E remains infectious on common touch surface materials.  mBio 6:e01697-15.

 

https://www.antimicrobialcopper.org/faq