Anti-Microbial Copper-Historical Uses

Did you know that copper has been in use at least 10,000 years?

Copper is said to be man’s oldest metal- dating back to Egypt around 4000 B.C. In 3500 B.C

Egyptians contributed to copper early on, in the form of artwork.

According to Copper Alliance- The Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Aztecs used copper-based preparations to treat burns, sore throats and skin rashes, as well as for day-to-day hygiene.Unlike coatings or other materials treatments, the antibacterial efficacy of copper metals won’t wear away. They offer long-term protection.

Copper was also used to cure medical problems in ancient China and India.

In Greece- Aztecs used copper oxide and copper carbonate, combined with other chemicals such as sodium carbonate, olive paste and honey, to treat skin infections Copper workers in Paris were protected from several epidemics by using cooper in various forms and  in the most unique form French wineries even used copper sulphate.

The Washington Post reports that Ancient Egyptians used copper to sterilize chest wounds and drinking water. Greeks, Romans and Aztecs relied on copper compounds to treat burns, headaches and ear infections.

Thousands of years later, the ancient therapeutic is being embraced by some hospitals because of its ability to kill bacteria and other microbes on contact, which can help reduce  infections.

Today’s Copper

In February 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the registration of 275 antimicrobial copper alloys. This permits public health claims that EPA Registered copper, brass and bronze products are capable of killing harmful, potentially deadly bacteria. Copper is the first solid surface material to receive this type of EPA registration, which is supported by extensive antimicrobial efficacy testing.

Today, healthcare centers and hospitals are using copper for its anti microbial properties where they can help reduce the amount of disease-causing bacteria on regularly touched surfaces: door and furniture hardware, bed rails, over-bed trays, IV stands, dispensers, faucets, sinks and work stations.

Today, there are continued and ongoing new researches on the study of copper’s anti microbial abilities.

Check back in on our blog next week as we discuss more on Copper and it’s anti microbial ability!

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