Copper exhibits impressive antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. Copper can kill viruses and other germs by disrupting the protective layers of the organisms (membranes or envelopes) and interfering with its vital processes, however, the microorganism has to come in contact with the copper in order for it to be killed. This is referred to as “contact killing.”
When pathogens come in contact with copper, ions are released, which prevent cell respiration and make their way through the outer membranes to the inside of the cell to destroy it, including its DNA or RNA. This prevents the cell from mutating and becoming resistant to the copper, or to pass on genes to other microbes.
Many viruses are surrounded by a continuous bilayer membrane studded with viral proteins. Its purpose is to protect the genome-containing virus nucleocapsid from damage, and to facilitate entry of the nucleocapsid into a host cell. Viral membrane proteins attach the virus to the host cell, and promote fusion between viral and host cell membranes. Enveloped viruses form by a budding process, involving the wrapping up of newly synthesized nucleocapsids with regions of host cell membranes containing host cell lipids but exclusively viral proteins. Host cell machinery and processes are co-opted by enveloped viruses for use at every stage of these viral events.
The major structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2 are spike (S), membrane (M), envelope (E), and the nucleocapsid (N) proteins. The spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 uses the host angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as the entry receptor.
Several studies conducted on copper and its alloys have proven that copper-based alloys possess excellent potential in controlling the spread of infectious diseases. Moreover, recent studies indicate that these alloys can effectively inactivate the COVID-19 virus.
National Library of Medicine review: Antiviral properties of copper and its alloys to inactivate covid-19 virus
COVID-19 is particularly sensitive to copper and its alloy surfaces (Doremalen et al. 2020). On copper, as well as a range of copper–zinc (Canadian penny) and copper–nickel alloys, the virus can easily be inactivated (National Academies of Sciences 2020).
The first recorded medical use of copper is from one of the oldest known books, the Smith Papyrus, written between 2600 and 2200 B.C. The information therein has been ascribed to an Egyptian doctor circa 1700 B.C. but is based on information that dates back as far as 3200 B.C. Egyptians designated the ankh symbol, representing eternal life, to denote copper in hieroglyphs. The Smith Papyrus stated that copper was used to sterilize chest wounds and drinking water.
As far back as 1,600 B.C., the Chinese used copper coins as medication to treat heart and stomach pain as well as bladder diseases. Copper was also used to cure medical problems in ancient India and still is an important component in Ayurveda medicine today.
Pliny (23 to 79 A.D.) described a number of remedies involving copper. Black copper oxide was given with honey to remove intestinal worms.
Copper arsenate had been used to treat acute and chronic diarrhea as well as dysentery and cholera. A variety of inorganic copper preparations were found to be effective in treating chronic adenitis, eczema, impetigo, scorphulosis, tubercular infections, lupus, syphilis, anemias, chorea and facial neuralgia. An organic complex of copper developed by Bayer was shown to have curative powers in the treatment of tuberculosis. Copper treatment for tuberculosis continued until the 1940s, and various physicians reported on their success in using copper preparations in intravenous injections.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially serious infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from person to person through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes. Sound familiar? The WHO maintains that the SARS-CoV-2 is spread mainly by contaminated surfaces and by droplets. It stands to reason that if copper was used by Bayer and physicians for the treatment of tuberculosis until the 1940s that copper can also be used for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.
It was observed centuries ago by mothers, that their children were less likely to get diarrhea when they drank water from copper vessels or if it was transported in copper conveyance systems. They passed on this knowledge to subsequent generations.
Later, in the 19th century, copper workers in Paris were protected from cholera epidemics and French wineries even applied copper sulphate and slaked lime, called “Bordeaux mixture”, to vines to prevent fungal attack.
Copper has the intrinsic advantage of disinfecting merely by being there. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that copper can be effective against the virus responsible for the coronavirus plandemic, SARS-CoV-2. The study showed that after four hours, the virus was no longer infectious on copper surface. In comparison, it could survive on plastic surfaces for 72 hours.
On copper, no viable SARS-CoV-2 was measured after 4 hours and no viable SARS-CoV-1 was measured after 8 hours.
New England Journal of Medicine – Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1
A new study by researchers at the University of Southampton, UK, has found that SARS-CoV-2 can inactivate on copper surfaces in as little as 1 minute.
We have previously shown that human coronavirus 229E survives for more than 5 days on inanimate surfaces and another laboratory reproduced this for SARS-CoV-2 this year. However, we showed rapid inactivation of Hu-CoV-229E within 10 minutes on different copper surfaces while the other laboratory indicated this took 4 hours for SARS-CoV-2. So why the difference? We have repeated our work with SARS-CoV-2 and can confirm that this coronavirus can be inactivated on copper surfaces in as little as 1 minute.
UK University of Southampton study “Rapid inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 on copper touch surfaces determined using a cell culture infectivity assay”
According to Edward Bilsky, Ph.D., Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, copper can kill germs in a few ways:
It disrupts bacterial and viral cell membranes — copper ions damage cell membranes or “envelopes” and can destroy the DNA or RNA of the microbe
It generates oxidative stress on bacterial cells and develops hydrogen peroxide, which can kill bacteria cells.
It interferes with proteins that operate important functions that keep bacterial and virus infected cells alive.
By blocking the function of the protein (in bacteria and viruses), you block the function of the pathway. When you block the function of the pathway, you block the function of the organism, and then the organism is just dead in the water
Michael D. L. Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Immunobiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson
Bill Keevil, a microbiology researcher at the University of Southampton in England, has studied the antimicrobial effects of copper for more than two decades. He has watched in his laboratory as copper kills one pathogen 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.
In 2015, Keevil turned his attention to Coronavirus 229E, a relative of the COVID-19 virus that causes the common cold and pneumonia. Once again, copper zapped the virus within minutes while it remained infectious for five days on surfaces such as stainless steel or glass.
Copper is truly a gift from Mother Nature in that the human race has been using it for over eight millennia,
Michael G. Schmidt, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina
Copper destroys and inhibits the growth of microbes, fungi and bacteria, including E Coli. It has been used as medicine by ingestion (from water stored in a copper vessel) or applied topically to boost your immune system, prevent infection, improve wound healing and speed the healing process of tissues. In fact, the U.S. EPA found copper to be the only solid material that can kill bacteria that pose a threat to human health.
On February 10, 2021 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that certain copper alloys provide long-term effectiveness against viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. As a result of EPA’s approval, products containing these copper alloys can now be sold and distributed with claims that they kill certain viruses that come into contact with them. This is the first product with residual claims against viruses to be registered for use nationwide.
October 2015 science article – Copper Alloy Surfaces Kill Bacteria and Reduce Hospital-Acquired Infections
Greater than a 99.9% reduction in live bacteria was realized in laboratory tests. In the clinical trials, an 83% reduction in bacteria was seen on the copper alloy components, when compared to the surfaces made from standard materials in the control rooms. Finally, the infection rates were found to be reduced by 58% in patient rooms with components made of copper, when compared to patients’ rooms with components made of standard materials.
Copper also possesses anti-oxidant properties which prevent free ions and radicals from raising the toxicity within the body. Anti-aging properties of copper are as well-known and historically renowned. By improving the density of collage and elastic fibers, copper slows the aging process – not just on the outside, in the inside as well.