Copper as an antimicrobial agent: areas of use

27 February, 2022 | By URSA Ibérica

The World Health Organization recommends that adults consume 1.3 mg of copper in our daily diets. This natural element offers several health benefits: it ensures that your immune system is working correctly. The antimicrobial properties of copper can also be used in air conditioning systems.

In the area of human health it has been scientifically proven that copper helps to keep our hearts healthy. Foods such as chocolate, cereals, vegetables, and shellfish, among others, provide us with copper.

Other areas of use include farming and agriculture, aquaculture, architecture and interior design, art, coinage, shipping, electronics, energy and renewable energy, telecommunication, transport, industrial design and manufacturing, pipes, and air conditioning systems.

How can this material be so versatile?

The properties of copper: a powerful antimicrobial agent

The Spanish Copper Information Centre lists several scientific studies showing the antimicrobial efficiency of copper against some of the most harmful bacteria, mould, and viruses. 

That explains why copper is so widely used in so many different applications and installations. For example, at health centres, food processing plants, in air conditioning systems, and with public transport. 

But that’s not all… Copper’s antimicrobial properties mean that it is also used for drinking water installations. The IEC has gathered several reports showing that copper pipes “reduce the formation of layers of microorganisms inside water pipes and minimise the risk of pathogenic legionella bacteria forming”. 

The use of copper in air conditioning systems

Copper is also used in the manufacturing of piping and HVAC systems.

All of the URSA AIR panels meet the UNE-EN 13403:2003 regulations and ensures no microbial growth thanks to the mineral properties of the products.

URSA has gone one step further with its mineral wool URSA AIR ducts by adding InCare technology, a copper ion based technology which quickly prevents the reproductive capabilities of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, or mould on the internal walls of the duct. This helps to improve the healthiness of the air conditioning systems and reduces the risk of allergies and infectious diseases.

Research carried out by an independent research centre in accordance with ISO 20743:2013 regulations, guarantees that the new URSA AIR panels with InCare technology are able to reduce bacterias by more than 99.99% on the internal duct walls. Thanks to the speed and effectiveness of the biocide, this technology is able to better look after the quality of the air circulating within the air conditioning and ventilation ducts.

Furthermore, the copper itself has some extraordinary properties. Its antimicrobial effectiveness lasts throughout the service life and is not harmful to people’s health or the environment.

This new treatment is an additional measure to the current maintenance and cleaning requirements, which still need to be adhered to in accordance with current regulations.

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