CuVerro Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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CuVerro is a new type of touch surface material designed specifically for areas where cleanliness is a concern. It is a copper-based alloy, and it is registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a surface that continuously kills bacteria* within 2 hours. When cleaned regularly, it kills more than 99.9% of bacteria* within 2 hours and continues to kill 99% of bacteria* even after repeated contamination.

“Antimicrobial” is a broad term, defined by EPA as a substance or mixture of substances used for destroying or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms on inanimate objects and surfaces.

Laboratory testing shows that, when cleaned regularly, CuVerro® antimicrobial copper surfaces kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: MRSA, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7.

When cleaned regularly, CuVerro antimicrobial copper kills more than 99.9% of bacteria* within 2 hours and continues to kill 99% of bacteria* even after repeated contamination.

Copper! Copper is the only active ingredient found in CuVerro®. In addition to the antibacterial* properties, the inherent properties of copper provide strength, durability, and tarnish resistance.

No. CuVerro® antimicrobial alloys are solid surfaces that will not wear, wash or scratch away. This is one of the main reasons why the EPA has registered copper alloys for their antibacterial* efficacy.

The use of Antimicrobial Copper for frequently touched hospital surfaces such as switches and wallplates, door and furniture hardware, bed rails, IV poles, nurses’ call buttons, dispensers, faucets, sinks and work stations can help reduce the amount of disease-causing bacteria* in patient rooms.
In addition to frequently touched surfaces in hospitals, Antimicrobial Copper may be used in other settings such as senior residences, ambulatory care facilities, public transportation, schools, gyms, and public housing.

Copper is an essential nutrient for bacteria, but in high doses, it harms bacterial* cells. The exact mechanism by which copper kills many bacteria* is still being researched, however, several theories exist and are being studied. They include:

  • Cause leakage of potassium or glutamate through the outer membrane of affected bacteria*
  • Disturb osmotic balance
  • Bind to proteins that do not require copper
  • Cause oxidative stress by generating hydrogen peroxide

Registration of Antimicrobial Copper is the first time the EPA recognized a solid material for its continuous antimicrobial properties and permitted certain public health claims to be made about its use for touch surfaces.

Based on laboratory testing conducted under EPA protocols, when cleaned regularly, CuVerro surfaces:

  • Continuously reduces bacterial* contamination, achieving 99.9% reduction within two hours of exposure.
  • Kills greater than 99.9% of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria* within two hours of exposure.
  • Delivers continuous and ongoing antibacterial* action, remaining effective in killing greater than 99.9% of bacteria* within two hours.
  • Kills greater than 99.9% of bacteria* within two hours, and continues to kill more than 99% of bacteria* even after repeated contamination.
  • Helps inhibit the buildup and growth of bacteria* within two hours of exposure between routine cleaning and sanitizing steps.

CuVerro® antimicrobial copper surfaces need to be cleaned regularly; they are a supplement to and not a substitute for standard infection control and hygienic practices; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices, including those practices related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces.

Despite the fact that CuVerro® surfaces have been formulated for their strong resistance to tarnishing, all uncoated copper alloys are subject to natural oxidation. The effect however will be more comparable to the subtle surface changes typical of copper-nickel coins (such as dimes, nickels and quarters), which over time, shows minimal color change, compared to the more noticeable tarnish that can develop with, for example, a copper penny.

No. Copper is a “living metal” and it is the continued interface of copper ions with the environment that makes copper such an effective antibacterial* agent.

Antimicrobial Copper is the only class of solid antimicrobial surfaces currently registered by the EPA to make certain public health claims. Antimicrobial Copper’s characteristics exist through and through. Even when surfaces made of these materials are scratched their antimicrobial efficacy continues. They won’t wear away like coatings or other treatments can.

There is literally no comparison. CuVerro® represents the ONLY class of solid antimicrobial surfaces currently recognized and registered by the EPA to make public health claims for their inherent ability to kill infectious bacteria* within 2 hours.

Silver-containing coatings claim to be effective, but unlike Antimicrobial Copper, currently no silvercontaining coating has been registered by the EPA with public health claims. Extensive laboratory testing is required to make public health claims. Products must prove that they effectively kill bacteria that pose a threat to human health and safety before such claims are permitted.

Silver-containing coatings currently rely on a treated article exemption. This form of EPA registration currently only permits products to claim that the active ingredient protects the product itself from degradation and odor caused by non-specific organisms. No scientific data on antimicrobial efficacy is required to obtain this registration.

Yes. However currently, public health claims are not allowed for antimicrobial copper alloy use for direct food contact or food packaging. But other highly touched surfaces such as light switches and wallplates, door and cabinet pulls, and knobs would be perfect applications.

*Laboratory testing shows that, when cleaned regularly, CuVerro® antimicrobial copper surfaces kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: MRSA, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7. CuVerro® 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; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices, including those practices related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces. CuVerro is a registered trademark of GBC Metals, LLC and is used with permission, CW-0013-1207.