ECRI Institute Lists Antimicrobial Copper as a Top 10 Technology to Watch in 2014

Patient care research institute highlights Antimicrobial Copper in annual Hospital C-Suite Watch List

Jan 24, 2014, 09:00 ET from Copper Development Association

NEW YORK, Jan. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A U.S. based non-profit health organization dedicated to researching the best approaches to patient care has listed Antimicrobial Copper as one of the top 10 technologies to watch in its 2014 Top 10 Hospital C-Suite Watch List.

Copper earned this distinction from the ECRI Institute less than one year after a groundbreaking study found that copper kills bacteria and reduces infections. The report was published this month.

ECRI Institute has been evaluating the safety, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of health technologies for more than 45 years. The 2014 Top 10 Hospital C-Suite Watch List serves as a reference guide for both hospital leaders and the public on upcoming noteworthy health technologies or health systems issues each year. It is available to them as a service, free of cost.

"With this Watch List, healthcare leaders can learn more about potential game changers and use it as guidance when devising strategic growth plans for their facilities," said Robert Maliff in a recent press release written by the ECRI Institute. Maliff serves as the director of applied solutions for the organization. 

While copper's antimicrobial properties have been known for thousands of years, recent research piloted by the Copper Development Association (CDA) and funded by the Department of Defense proved that surfaces made from Antimicrobial Copper alloys like brass and bronze had 83 percent fewer bacteria on average compared to surfaces made from traditional materials.

"Our research shows how important Antimicrobial Copper can be when it comes to increasing patient safety," said Wilton Moran, project engineer at CDA. "These surfaces don't rely on human behavior—they serve as an extra layer of protection, constantly working in the background to fight bacteria in between routine cleanings."

A 2013 study published in the journal of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology revealed that the use of Antimicrobial Copper surfaces in hospital rooms reduced the number of Healthcare Associated Infections in the Intensive Care Unit by 58 percent. The study also found that Antimicrobial Copper surfaces destroy strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, including the superbugs MRSA and VRE.

The List notes "Antimicrobial Copper is the only hospital touch surface with a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) public health registration, allowing manufacturers to claim that copper surfaces can kill specific bacteria…that cause infections and pose a threat to human health." There are many Antimicrobial Copper alloy options available spanning a range of colors and engineering properties.  EPA-registered Antimicrobial Copper alloys can be incorporated into a wide variety of components, including:

  • Bedrails
  • Handrails
  • Door handles
  • Grab bars
  • IV poles
  • Trays and carts
  • Sinks and faucets
  • Lavatory components
  • Work surfaces
  • Computer keyboards
  • Equipment adjustment knobs
  • Call buttons
  • Face plates and more

Interested in learning more about introducing your hospital to Antimicrobial Copper? The 2014 Watch List includes a section on 'What To Do' to get started. ECRI Institute's 2014 Top 10 Hospital C-Suite Watch List is available for download at (registration required).

For more information about Antimicrobial Copper, visit or follow us on Twitter @AntimicrobialCU.

About the Copper Development Association
The Copper Development Association Inc. is the market development, engineering and information services arm of the copper industry, chartered to enhance and expand markets for copper and its alloys in North America. Learn more on our blog. Follow us on Twitter.

About Antimicrobial Copper
* Laboratory testing shows that, when cleaned regularly, Antimicrobial Copper surfaces kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: MRSA, Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE), Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7. 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.

EPA approval for public health claims. In the U.S., after many years of research, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered more than 400 copper based alloys, such as brass and bronze, as public health antimicrobial products.  Antimicrobial Copper is the only class of solid touch surfaces registered by the EPA to continuously kill bacteria that cause infections and pose a risk to human health.

Copper is the active, microbe killing ingredient. Antimicrobial Copper isn't just pure copper. It's shorthand for a host of copper based metals (or alloys) that can go head-to-head with stainless steel in terms of strength, durability and aesthetics.  In addition to their antimicrobial properties, copper alloys are:

  • Durable & recyclable
  • Wear-resistant
  • Can stand up to harsh environments
  • Can retain details and finish over time
  • Available in a range of colors

Kathleen Fletcher 

SOURCE Copper Development Association