February 11, 2021

EPA: Certain Copper Alloys Effective Against SARS-CoV-2

Certain high-percentage copper alloy products “provide long-term effectiveness” against SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses and can continuously kill viruses that come into contact with them, EPA has announced. According to the agency, products containing these copper alloys are the first with residual claims against viruses to be registered for use in the United States. EPA expects these products to eliminate 99.9 percent of SARS-CoV-2 within two hours based on efficacy testing against harder-to-kill viruses. Doorknobs and handrails are examples of surfaces that can be manufactured to contain antimicrobial copper alloys.

High-percentage copper alloy products will be included in the List N Appendix, EPA’s list of supplemental residual antimicrobial products that can be used against SARS-CoV-2. Products in the List N Appendix work within two hours of a virus coming into contact with a surface, but do not replace routine cleaning and disinfection. EPA’s List N lists disinfectants that meet the agency’s criteria for use against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

“The use of antimicrobial copper alloy products supplements but does not replace standard infection control practices,” EPA explains. “Individuals should continue to follow [CDC], state, and local public health guidelines, including critical precautions like mask wearing, social distancing, and ventilation.”

For more information, see EPA’s news release.