Why We Need Copper Door Handles

Copper door handles, knobs and door plates have been used on doors for centuries, but fell out of favor during the last couple of decades of the 20th century, largely because of the need to regularly polish the metal to maintain its shine. Now it seems that they are beginning to reappear for a very specific reason. Scientific studies have suggested that copper door pieces should be brought back into regular use in public buildings to help combat bacteria and germs. That’s because copper-based surfaces have the ability to destroy a wide range of microbes and bacteria relatively quickly — often within 2 hours or less. Not only does that help to reduce the transmission of disease-causing bacteria, but it has been shown to reduce patient infections by as much as 58%. Copper has even been shown to be effective in exterminating the much-dreaded hospital “superbug” MRSA. There are a lot of bugs on our hands that we're spreading around by touching surfaces. In a public building or on mass transportation, surfaces can’t be cleaned for long periods of time. On stainless steel surfaces, bacteria can survived for weeks, but on copper surfaces they die within minutes. In addition to direct contact killing of bacteria and harmful microbes, copper surfaces have also been found to exude an antimicrobial “halo” effect on surrounding non-copper surfaces. It should be noted that copper’s antibacterial effect only works if the metal is raw, so it can’t work on something that is coated in lacquer or some other plating, which acts as a barrier.