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Scientists rediscover ancient way to prevent illness

Old ways sometimes get new life

Ancient peoples discovered a natural element that often prevents illness. Nobody knew how it worked until recently.

Now scientists have discovered it actually kills germs, such as bacteria and viruses, on contact. Researchers are busy turning it into a powerful new way to prevent infections, stop illness from spreading in hospitals, fight back against superbugs, and even stop colds, cold sores, sinus trouble, and flu.

More than 4000 years ago ancient Egyptians discovered that copper could prevent infections, help wounds heal faster, and purify water. More than 2000 years ago, Hippocrates, often called the father of modern medicine, recommended copper to fight infections.

More than 1000 years ago the Aztecs used copper gargle for sore throats. Over 150 years ago Europeans used copper to prevent infections, and Civil War doctors in the U.S. used it to combat infections in battlefield wounds.

In the 1800s doctors began learning about the role of germs in spreading infections and illness. By 1932 they were using antibiotics to kill bacteria.

Antibiotics worked well at first, but many germs have since developed resistance to antibiotics and are spreading faster again. Some people go to the hospital for one problem and catch something worse while they are there, as infections spread from patient to patient.

Researchers looking for a solution discovered that copper rapidly kills dangerous germs just by touching them. Germs which can live for weeks or months on stainless steel or plastic die quickly on copper. Suddenly the ancient use of copper makes sense. Copper turns out to be “antimicrobial”, meaning it kills viruses and bacteria, which finally explains why it has worked for over 4000 years.

In 2002 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversaw tests proving that copper destroys germs that spread in hospitals, including MRSA and other microbes that have developed antibiotic resistance. Scientists at dozens of universities conducted hundreds of studies showing that copper kills over 100 different disease germs, including every kind of microbe it has been tested on. The National Institutes of Health says, “The antimicrobial activity of copper is now well established.”

Dr. Chris Rensing, then at the University of Arizona, showed copper’s high electrical conductance disrupts the tiny electrical charge across the membrane surrounding a microbe. This instantly pops holes in the membrane. Even a single copper molecule that touches the microbe stops it from reproducing and quickly destroys it. Professor Rensing calls this “contact killing”.

The EPA registered copper and some copper alloys as the only solid antimicrobial materials. It urged hospitals to replace their “touch surfaces,” such as patient bedrails, tray tables, faucets and doorknobs, with copper. Hospitals that did so cut hospital-acquired infections dramatically. Forbes Magazine said, “Copper is the new gold standard in saving lives.”

Copper has two great advantages over antibiotics. First, antibiotics kill bacteria but not viruses or fungus. Copper kills them all. Second, germs develop resistance to antibiotics, but not to copper, even after thousands of years.

Copper is a natural element found in many of the foods we eat. It is necessary for the body. Low risk of toxicity is one reason the EPA chose it for hospitals.

Further research indicates copper is good not only for killing germs on surfaces, but also for killing germs on skin and in the nose.

Based on the strong scientific evidence, several companies have produced new copper products for hospitals and homes. An Arizona company, CopperZap LLC, developed a hand-held copper touch surface, called a CopperZap. It has a copper tip you rub gently in your nose for 60 seconds to prevent colds and a copper handle to kill germs you may have picked up on your fingers.

Colds start when cold viruses get in the nose. Copper kills viruses, and over 99% of CopperZap users reporting say copper stops colds completely if they use it in the nose right away at the first sign of a cold. It is shaped to reach the right place in the nostril and finely textured for greater surface area contact. The company offers it for $69.95.

Some CopperZap users say they have also stopped cold sores, flu, sinus trouble, nighttime stuffiness, and illness after airline travel. It can also be applied to wounds, cuts, and abrasions to fight infections.

So it turns out the ancient way to stop germs really works. We finally know why.

The EPA says tarnish does not reduce copper’s germ-killing power.

For more information see or call toll-free 1-888-411-6114.