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ASTM International Committee B05 on Copper and Copper Alloys has created a new task group, TG9018, focused on antimicrobial applications of copper and copper alloys. The group’s formation follows an announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency it will register copper alloys as antimicrobial materials with specific health claims.
The mission of TG9018 will be to share research, activity, product applications and registration activities surrounding antimicrobial aspects of copper relating to changes in current B05 product standards or require new standards, says James Michel of the Copper Development Association and chair of the new task group.
The EPA registration notes copper, brass and bronze are capable of killing harmful, potentially deadly bacteria. The registration is based on independent laboratory testing under EPA-prescribed protocols demonstrating the metals' ability to kill specific disease-causing bacteria, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. The registration has implications for the use of copper and copper alloys in hospital equipment, such as door and furniture hardware, bed rails, intravenous stands, dispensers, faucets, sinks and work stations.