Copper is a remarkable metal that possesses unique properties, one of which is its ability to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. This phenomenon is known as the oligodynamic effect, which is defined as the ability of small amounts of heavy metals to exert a lethal effect on microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, and fungi.
This effect is notable because copper, in trace amounts, can exhibit strong antimicrobial properties, making it useful for various applications, especially in the field of public health and sanitation.
How Does the Oligodynamic Effect of Copper Work?
Copper ions can damage the cell membranes, proteins, and DNA of microorganisms, disrupting their cellular processes and causing them to die. This property sets copper apart from other metals, such as stainless steel and aluminum, which do not have a significant impact on harmful bacteria. This makes copper an ideal material for various applications where hygiene is crucial, such as water pitchers, doorknobs, and even hospital components.
Copper ions (Cu2+) and copper complexes have a long history of use in disinfecting both human tissues and various forms of substances, whether in solid or liquid states. In contemporary applications, copper is frequently used in water purifiers, algaecide, fungicide, as well as an antibacterial and antifouling agent. That’s why copper has several real world applications.
In one study, it was observed that Copper is incredibly effective at getting rid of tiny germs really quickly. It's much better at this than other metals. For instance, copper pots do an outstanding job at killing bacteria. In just 4 hours, they completely wipe out all the germs on them. And this amazing germ-fighting power stays strong, with a 100 percent reduction in germs even after 8 hours and 24 hours.
Ayurvedic medicine has long recognized the health benefits of copper. Drinking water stored in copper vessels is believed to have various positive effects, including weight loss, immune system strengthening, and improved digestion.
Copper has historically been used for food storage and preparation due to its antimicrobial properties. Copper pots and utensils can help prevent the growth of bacteria and spoilage of food.
Copper's antimicrobial properties have led to its use in hospitals, where it is employed in door knobs and other high-touch surfaces to minimize the spread of germs. Research has shown that using copper components in patient rooms can lead to a significant reduction in infection rates. In fact a study revealed that copper surfaces exhibit rapid bactericidal action, eradicating several Staphylococcus aureus strains in less than 90 minutes.
In summary, we've delved into the remarkable power of copper as a natural germ fighter, thanks to its oligodynamic effect. This age-old secret has shown us how copper, in its own unique way, battles against bacteria and other microorganisms.
If you're looking to harness the benefits of copper, you can find a range of copper items at Kaarigar Handicrafts. They offer a variety of beautifully crafted copper water vessels, pitchers, bathtubs, sinks and many other products that not only serve a functional purpose but also add a touch of tradition and elegance to your home.
So, explore the world of copper and experience its remarkable germ-fighting properties for yourself!