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CDA Position Statement on Antimicrobial Copper and Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Disclaimer: Copper Cape does not claim to kill Covid-19

NEW (February 10, 2021) - U.S. EPA granted an unprecedented public health registration permitting certain copper alloys to make residual virucidal efficacy claims against SARS-CoV-2, Rhinovirus Type 37, Rotavirus Strain WA, and Human Coronavirus 229E. EPA granted an amended registration to the Copper Development Association for an emerging viral pathogen claim to be added to the label of Antimicrobial Copper Alloys- Group 1 (EPA Reg. No. 82012-1), which is made of at least 95.6 percent copper. Amended registrations allow previously registered products to make label changes (e.g., changes to product claims, precautions and/or use directions) and/or formulation changes. In this case, the amended registration added virus claims to the product registration.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the following clarifying statements were developed as part of CDA's EPA-mandated Stewardship Plan:

  • Media reports and public inquiries to CDA have noted several independent studies reporting antimicrobial efficacy of uncoated copper and copper alloy surfaces against human pathogens, including one strain of coronavirus (HuCoV-229E) reported in mBio by Warnes et al (citation).

  • There also has been widespread media coverage of a recent U.S. government-funded study conducted by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, remained viable for up to 2 to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel surfaces vs. up to 4 hours on copper (citation)

  • All antimicrobial products marketed and sold in the U.S. are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure the products are safe to use, and that advertising claims about protecting public health, and efficacy against specific pathogens, are supported by rigorous testing under EPA-approved protocols.

  • Copper alloy materials are registered by EPA (Reg. Nos. 82012-1 to 6) to make public health claims against six specific bacteria* (e.g. continuously kills >99.9% of MRSA within 2 hours of contact between routine cleanings).

  • Copper alloy materials with at least 95.6% copper covered by the Group I registration (Reg. Nos. 82012-1) are permitted to make public health claims (e.g. continuously kills >99.9% in 2 hours) against 3 specific viruses: Human Coronavirus 229E, Rhinovirus Type 37, and Rotavirus Strain WA. Group I alloys are also permitted to make emerging viral pathogen claims against SARS-CoV-2 and future enveloped and large non-enveloped viral pathogens under the conditions established in the EPA guidelines. Group I copper alloys are the first and only materials on EPA's List N Appendix, which is the Agency's list of residual virucidal products that can be used to combat SARS-CoV-2.

  • Copper alloys with lower copper content in Groups II through VI are not permitted to make virucidal efficacy claims at this time, but may be able to do so in the future pending confirmatory testing according to EPA protocols.

  • For more information on the antimicrobial properties of copper alloys and EPA registration, visit:

CDA is committed to supporting the appropriate government agencies and public health officials that express interest in evaluating the potential for copper alloy surfaces to supplement first-line defense measures against COVID-19 including social distancing, practicing proper hand hygiene and routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces with EPA-registered disinfectants. For more information on EPA’s current guidance to identify effective disinfectant products for use against emerging viral pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, click HERE.

*Laboratory testing shows that, when cleaned regularly, antimicrobial copper surfaces kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: MRSA, VRE, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7. Antimicrobial copper surfaces are a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection control practices and have been shown to reduce microbial contamination, but do not necessarily prevent cross contamination or infections; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices. All content on this webpage is intended for the U.S. market and audiences only.

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