Heating, Ventilating & Plumbing
Trials show copper pipes help resist infection
Published:  16 March, 2011

Trials at a Birmingham hospital show that copper pipes and fittings are more resistant to infection than other materials.

The trial, carried out using Conex products, took place at Birmingham's Selly Oak hospital.

It showed that surfaces made with materials that contain copper kill a wide range of potentially harmful micro-organisms including MRSA, Clostridium difficile, fungi Aspergillus niger and viruses including Influenza A - H1N1.

Because copper, and brass with its high copper content, is capable of continuously killing pathogenic microbes it can reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections.

Copper has been used for its antimicrobial properties for centuries, and this has now been scientifically proven at Selly Oak, and in similar trials carried out across the globe. 

The UK trial leader, Professor Tom Elliott, said: "It’s what I would call an intelligent metal. The copper is quietly working away in the background, killing organisms all the time.”

Conex has recently launched Conex Push-Fit, a range of brass fittings with a high copper content, which the company said is particularly suitable for healthcare applications.