Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold vs Cash in a Financial Crisis - Richard_Mills
2.Current Stock Market Rally Similarities To 1999 - Chris_Vermeulen
3.America See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - Part2 - James_Quinn
4.Stock Market Trend Forecast Outlook for 2020 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Who Said Stock Market Traders and Investor are Emotional Right Now? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.Gold Upswing and Lessons from Gold Tops - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Economic Tribulation is Coming, and Here is Why - Michael_Pento
8.What to Expect in Our Next Recession/Depression? - Raymond_Matison
9.The Fed Celebrates While Americans Drown in Financial Despair - John_Mauldin
10.Hi-yo Silver Away! - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
Stock Market Selloff Structure Explained – Fibonacci On Deck - 2nd Apr 20
COVID-19 FINANCIAL LOCKDOWN: Can PAYPAL Be Trusted to Handle US $1200 Stimulus Payments? - 2nd Apr 20
Day in the Life of Coronavirus LOCKDOWN - Sheffield, UK - 2nd Apr 20
UK Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Trend Trajectory - Deviation Against Forecast - 1st Apr 20
Huge Unemployment Is Coming. Will It Push Gold Prices Up? - 1st Apr 20
Gold Powerful 2008 Lessons That Apply Today - 1st Apr 20
US Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Projections Trend Forecast - Video - 1st Apr 20
From Global Virus Acceleration to Global Debt Explosion - 1st Apr 20
UK Supermarkets Coronavirus Panic Buying Before Lock Down - Tesco Empty Shelves - 1st Apr 20
Gold From a Failed Breakout to a Failed Breakdown - 1st Apr 20
P FOR PANDEMIC - 1st Apr 20
The Past Stock Market Week Was More Important Than You May Understand - 31st Mar 20
Coronavirus - No, You Do Not Hear the Fat Lady Warming Up - 31st Mar 20
Life, Religions, Business, Globalization & Information Technology In The Post-Corona Pandemics Age - 31st Mar 20
Three Charts Every Stock Market Trader and Investor Must See - 31st Mar 20
Coronavirus Stocks Bear Market Trend Forecast - Video - 31st Mar 20
Coronavirus Dow Stocks Bear Market Into End April 2020 Trend Forecast - 31st Mar 20
Is it better to have a loan or credit card debt when applying for a mortgage? - 31st Mar 20
US and UK Coronavirus Trend Trajectories vs Bear Market and AI Stocks Sector - 30th Mar 20
Are Gold and Silver Mirroring 1999 to 2011 Again? - 30th Mar 20
Stock Market Next Cycle Low 7th April - 30th Mar 20
United States Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Trend Forecasts Into End April 2020 - 29th Mar 20
Some Positives in a Virus Wracked World - 29th Mar 20
Expert Tips to Save on Your Business’s Office Supply Purchases - 29th Mar 20
An Investment in Life - 29th Mar 20
Sheffield Coronavirus Pandemic Infections and Deaths Forecast - 29th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Projections Trend Forecast - Video - 28th Mar 20
The Great Coronavirus Depression - Things Are Going to Change. Here’s What We Should Do - 28th Mar 20
One of the Biggest Stock Market Short Covering Rallies in History May Be Imminent - 28th Mar 20
The Fed, the Coronavirus and Investing - 28th Mar 20
Women’s Fashion Trends in the UK this 2020 - 28th Mar 20
The Last Minsky Financial Snowflake Has Fallen – What Now? - 28th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Projections Trend Forecast Into End April 2020 - 28th Mar 20
DJIA Coronavirus Stock Market Technical Trend Analysis - 27th Mar 20
US and UK Case Fatality Rate Forecast for End April 2020 - 27th Mar 20
US Stock Market Upswing Meets Employment Data - 27th Mar 20
Will the Fed Going Nuclear Help the Economy and Gold? - 27th Mar 20
What you need to know about the impact of inflation - 27th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Herd Immunity, Flattening the Curve and Case Fatality Rate Analysis - 27th Mar 20
NHS Hospitals Before Coronavirus Tsunami Hits (Sheffield), STAY INDOORS FINAL WARNING! - 27th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Curve, Stock Market Crash, and Mortgage Massacre - 27th Mar 20
Finding an Expert Car Accident Lawyer - 27th Mar 20
We Are Facing a Depression, Not a Recession - 26th Mar 20
US Housing Real Estate Market Concern - 26th Mar 20
Covid-19 Pandemic Affecting Bitcoin - 26th Mar 20
Italy Coronavirus Case Fataility Rate and Infections Trend Analysis - 26th Mar 20
Why Is Online Gambling Becoming More Popular? - 26th Mar 20
Dark Pools of Capital Profiting from Coronavirus Stock Markets CRASH! - 26th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Herd Immunity and Flattening the Curve - 25th Mar 20
Coronavirus Lesson #1 for Investors: Beware Predictions of Stock Market Bottoms - 25th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Stock Market Trend Implications - 25th Mar 20
Pandemonium in Precious Metals Market as Fear Gives Way to Command Economy - 25th Mar 20
Pandemics and Gold - 25th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus Hotspots - Cities with Highest Risks of Getting Infected - 25th Mar 20
WARNING US Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Going Ballistic! - 24th Mar 20
Coronavirus Crisis - Weeks Where Decades Happen - 24th Mar 20
Industry Trends: Online Casinos & Online Slots Game Market Analysis - 24th Mar 20
Five Amazingly High-Tech Products Just on the Market that You Should Check Out - 24th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus WARNING - Infections Trend Trajectory Worse than Italy - 24th Mar 20
Rick Rule: 'A Different Phrase for Stocks Bear Market Is Sale' - 24th Mar 20
Stock Market Minor Cycle Bounce - 24th Mar 20
Gold’s century - While stocks dominated headlines, gold quietly performed - 24th Mar 20
Big Tech Is Now On The Offensive Against The Coronavirus - 24th Mar 20
Socialism at Its Finest after Fed’s Bazooka Fails - 24th Mar 20
Dark Pools of Capital Profiting from Coronavirus Stock and Financial Markets CRASH! - 23rd Mar 20
Will Trump’s Free Cash Help the Economy and Gold Market? - 23rd Mar 20
Coronavirus Clarifies Priorities - 23rd Mar 20
Could the Coronavirus Cause the Next ‘Arab Spring’? - 23rd Mar 20
Concerned About The US Real Estate Market? Us Too! - 23rd Mar 20
Gold Stocks Peak Bleak? - 22nd Mar 20
UK Supermarkets Coronavirus Panic Buying, Empty Tesco Shelves, Stock Piling, Hoarding Preppers - 22nd Mar 20
US Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Going Ballistic as Government Start to Ramp Up Testing - 21st Mar 20
Your Investment Portfolio for the Next Decade—Fix It with the “Anti-Stock” - 21st Mar 20
CORONA HOAX: This Is Almost Completely Contrived and Here’s Proof - 21st Mar 20
Gold-Silver Ratio Tops 100; Silver Headed For Sub-$10 - 21st Mar 20
Coronavirus - Don’t Ask, Don’t Test - 21st Mar 20
Napag and Napag Trading Best Petroleum & Crude Oil Company - 21st Mar 20
UK Coronavirus Infections Trend Trajectory Worse than Italy - Government PANICs! Sterling Crashes! - 20th Mar 20
UK Critical Care Nurse Cries at Empty SuperMarket Shelves, Coronavirus Panic Buying Stockpiling - 20th Mar 20
Coronavirus Is Not an Emergency. It’s a War - 20th Mar 20
Why You Should Invest in the $5 Gold Coin - 20th Mar 20
Four Key Stock Market Questions To This Coronavirus Crisis Everyone is Asking - 20th Mar 20
Gold to Silver Ratio’s Breakout – Like a Hot Knife Through Butter - 20th Mar 20
The Coronavirus Contraction - Only Cooperation Can Defeat Impending Global Crisis - 20th Mar 20
Is This What Peak Market Fear Looks Like? - 20th Mar 20
Alessandro De Dorides - Business Consultant - 20th Mar 20
Why a Second Depression is Possible but Not Likely - 20th Mar 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter


How Antimicrobial Copper Could Save Thousands of Lives, Billions of Dollars

Stock-Markets / Healthcare Sector Jul 07, 2011 - 07:57 AM GMT

By: Money_Morning


Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleDavid Zeiler writes: In less than two hours this material can kill 99.9% of most of the bacteria on its surface, including E.coli, influenza, staphylococcus and H1N1.

A recent four-year trial has shown that using it on such frequently touched hospital items as bed rails, IV poles, tray tables and nurse call buttons reduces infection rates by more than 40%.

With hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States, such a wonder material could have a profound impact on the health care industry.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have estimated that each year HAIs kill more than 100,000 people and inflict costs of $45 billion. Nearly one out of every 20 patients in U.S. hospitals acquires an HAI.

So what is this miraculous material? Is it a technological breakthrough born of years of experimentation and hard work by hundreds of scientists toiling in hidden labs?

Not quite.

In fact, you probably have some in your pocket right now - this magic material is none other than ordinary copper, although its advocates prefer the term "antimicrobial copper."

Scientific Proof
Preliminary results of the most recent study of antimicrobial copper, which was paid for by the U.S. Department of Defense, were presented last week at the World Health Organization's (WHO) First International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control in Geneva, Switzerland.

Conducted in the intensive care units of three U.S. hospitals, the trial showed a 40.4% reduction in the risk of patient infection.

"We started with an idea and four short years later we now have a potential solution to one of the world's most devastating problems," Dr. Michael Schmidt told Reuters. Schmidt is a trial leader as well as professor and vice chairman of microbiology at the Medical University of South Carolina, which took part in the research.

And this isn't the first such study of the powers of antimicrobial copper. Previous research has been validated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which in 2008 registered five copper-alloy products and approved the claim that the metal could kill 99.9% of bacteria within two hours.

According to the Copper Development Association, an umbrella group for companies that develop and sell antimicrobial copper products, there are now 355 registered copper alloys.

It's a market just waiting to take off.

What's puzzling is why antimicrobial copper isn't already a popular commodity. In this case, modern science is playing catch-up to our ancient ancestors.

Throughout human history people seem to have recognized the red metal's mystical powers, often using copper containers to store and transport water; a practice still common today. Ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians and the Aztecs used copper as a medicine and to forge medical instruments.

Although they couldn't have understood how it worked, they could readily observe the health benefits.

So how does it work?

Copper releases ions that penetrate the cell walls of microbes, disrupting their ability to function and reproduce.

Better still, copper retains its bacteria-killing effectiveness even when mixed with other metals such as nickel and tin. That has helped ease aesthetic concerns, as many of the current antibacterial copper products are alloys of a lighter color and a finish closer to that of stainless steel.

Copper Everywhere
The innate ability of copper to kill microbes could have profound implications in several industries if it becomes widely adopted.

We've already seen what it can do for health care. If hospitals replace their most commonly touched surfaces - most of which have no bacteria-killing properties whatsoever - with antimicrobial copper, it could not only save lives, but billions of dollars.

And that could prove very compelling to an industry facing rising costs and uncertainty over insurance reimbursements as a result of last year's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"It's the goal of every hospital to discharge you as quickly as possible ... in order to protect you from hospital-acquired infections and to control costs," Schmidt told Reuters.

Schmidt said bacteria on ICU surfaces cause up to 80% of patient infections.

Similarly, widespread use of antimicrobial copper for railings and door handles in public buildings such as schools, offices and sports complexes, as well as on public transportation, could help prevent the spread of the flu and other infectious diseases among the general public.

That would save the healthcare industry even more money and benefit many businesses by reducing employee sick days.

Antimicrobial copper's effectiveness against E.coli in particular has applications in the food and hospitality industries. The use of more copper surfaces in food processing plants and kitchens would likely greatly reduce the outbreaks of such dangerous infections.

And at least one company, Richmond, VA-based Cupron, has found a way to use antimicrobial copper in fabric, including socks, sheets and pillowcases. The bedding is supposed to fight facial wrinkles, but the socks were sent to the trapped Chilean miners last year to keep their feet free from infection.

Of course, should antimicrobial copper catch on in a big way - and with such clear benefits, there's good reason to think it will - one of the biggest beneficiaries will be the world's copper producers such as Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX), Southern Copper Corp. (NYSE: SCCO), and Teck Resources Ltd. (NYSE: TCK).

With plenty of demand from countless industrial uses and growing emerging economies such as China, the price for copper is already over $4.00 per pound. Increased demand from antimicrobial copper products could help push prices even higher over time.

In fact, copper's high cost may be the biggest factor holding back greater adoption of the metal in its rediscovered bacteria-killing role.

"The question is whether despite clear health benefits, you are going to be able to persuade governments and hospitals they need to rip out stainless steel or something else they've got in already," Jon Barnes, of metal industry consultants CRU Group, told Reuters.

However, the copper producers already are looking forward to the new markets antimicrobial copper could create.

"It's an exciting opportunity for the industry to have applications in hospitals and clinics, but also in public buildings in general," Freeport McMoRan president and chief executive Richard Adkerson told Reuters in March. "The science clearly supports it ... copper kills bacteria, and when you look at the statistics of the illnesses and mortalities from infections in health facilities, in hospitals, it's mind-boggling."

Source :

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2011 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email:

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or 72 hours after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules