EPA registered antimicrobial copper products are a highly versatile way of fighting bacteria*. Science suggests that antimicrobial copper kills bacteria* with a multifaceted attack. The outer membrane of bacteria cells rupture when they come in contact with copper surfaces, leading to cell death. The copper ions impede cell respiration/metabolism, sometimes causing DNA damage, making it unlikely that bacteria* will develop a resistance to copper.
Healthy bacteria on an untreated stainless steel surface, minutes after cleaning
Destroyed bacteria on a surface with Aereus coating
Copper ions on the surface are recognized as an essential nutrient, and enter the cell
A lethal dose of copper ions interfers with normal cell functions and membrane integrity
Copper ions impede cell respiration/metabolism, sometimes causing DNA damage
Source: Drs. Grass, Keevil, Ransing, and Solioz courtesy of the Copper Development Association