The following statement appears on the EPA Antimicrobial Copper Stewardship website, which the Copper Development Association Inc. created in order to comply with an EPA requirement: "As a condition of the registration, EPA required the development of this Stewardship website to serve as an information clearinghouse and resource for conveying accurate information to the public and the infection control community about the efficacy and proper use and care of antimicrobial copper alloy materials. The website also contains guidance on permissible advertising claims for EPA-registered raw material and product suppliers."
To enter the EPA Antimicrobial Copper Stewardship website, click on the (EPA Registration) menu box shown at the top, go to bottom of the dropdown menu, and click on Link to EPA Stewardship Site. You will leave this site and enter www.copperalloystewardship.com.
If you wish you can also paste the domain show above into a search engine to get there.
The site contains additional useful information, particularly if you wish to make advertising claims related to antimicrobial copper.
Use and Care of Antimicrobial Copper Alloys - Product Stewardship Program Compliance
Antimicrobial copper surfaces provide a second line of defense against bacteria* and must be cared for properly in order to work effectively. As a condition of the public health registration of copper alloys as the first touch surface materials that continuously kill bacteria*, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency required the institution of an industry "Product Stewardship" program. The purpose of the program is to ensure the proper use and care of these innovative materials. Specifically, the Stewardship Program aims to convey the following key points:
The use of antimicrobial copper surfaces does not replace standard hospital infection control and prevention procedures and good hygienic practices such as hand washing.
Antimicrobial copper surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized regularly according to standard practices, just like other hard surfaces.
Antimicrobial copper surfaces may be subject to recontamination and the level of active bacteria at any particular time will depend on the frequency and timing of recontamination and cleanliness of the surface (among other factors).
Routine cleaning to remove dirt and filth is necessary for good hygiene and to ensure the effective antimicrobial performance of the copper alloy surface. Cleaning agents typically used for traditional touch surfaces are permissible and should be used in accordance with the product label. The appropriate cleaning agent depends on the type of soiling and the measure of sanitization required.
When cleaned regularly, normal tarnishing or wear of antimicrobial copper surfaces will not impair the antimicrobial effectiveness of the product.
Antimicrobial copper products are not approved for use in any form that has direct food contact or as food packaging.
Antimicrobial copper surfaces may be used in hospitals, other healthcare facilities, and various public, commercial, and residential buildings for approved non-food contact surfaces. Surfaces that may be exposed to outdoor environmental conditions (e.g. handrails, shopping carts, and ATM machines) are not representative of indoor laboratory test conditions, and therefore, may impart reduced efficacy if not cleaned when visibly soiled.
For more information on how to care for and maintain antimicrobial copper products, and how these continuously active surfaces can supplement standard infection control practices, go to the EPA Registration menu shown above and click on (EPA Stewardship ) in the drop down menu.