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My firm designs medical facilities. The antimicrobial effect of copper was brought to our attention a few years back, and there are building and medical products available. The copper industry touts the anti-microbial feature, that is registered by the EPA as effective [] Recently, a copper coating process has been developed and is used in operating rooms. There is also an alternative non-copper treatment for hard surfaces that doesn’t wear out or wash off, although I believe it wears off as the surface is worn down after many years. Copper really isn’t that pricey compared to the normal alternative for hand-contact items, stainless steel, but it is much softer, so shows damage much easier. Although the bright copper appearance is attractive, it requires a clear coating to maintain, and occasional re-coating. I believe that the anti-microbial quality is lost when the clear coating is applied. Uncoated, copper will darken, and some like the natural patina that forms from oils transferred from the hand.
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Jul 20, 2015