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EPA announces certain copper alloys provide effective long-term protection against viruses

February 12, 2021 - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced recently that certain copper alloys provide effective long-term protection against viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. The EPA's approval makes these alloys the first and only products to be registered for nationwide use with residual, long-lasting efficacy claims against viruses. This EPA action granted an amended registration to the Copper Development Association (CDA), allowing CDA to add unprecedented virucidal claims to its existing registration which currently permits claims against bacteria, including the antibiotic-resistant hospital superbug MRSA.

"The EPA's action enables the broad-spectrum and enduring public health benefits of copper alloys to be deployed in the fight against COVID-19 and future viral pathogens," said Thom Passek, President of CDA. "We are grateful for the EPA’s forethought and proactive support to bring this innovative and scientifically-proven solution to the table."

To earn this registration, CDA provided extensive data on harder-to-kill viruses demonstrating long-lasting virucidal efficacy. Results showed that certain copper alloys continuously kill >99.9 percent of several viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 and Rhinovirus, within 2 hours of contact. 

Products made from copper alloys can form a wide range of durable surfaces, including doorknobs, handrails, desktops and much more. The alloys are the first and only products to be included on the EPA's List N Appendix, which contains virucidal products with residual, 24/7 effectiveness as opposed to conventional disinfectants that only work upon application. 

Copper alloy surfaces are a supplement to, and not a substitute for, standard infection control practices, including the need to follow public health guidelines and critical precautions, such as mask wearing, social distancing and ventilation.

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The Copper Development Association Inc. is the not-for-profit, market development, engineering and information services arm of the North American copper industry, chartered to enhance and expand markets for copper and its alloys.

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