"Copper Minerals" for Ten Thousand Years, Benefits our Health, our Lives and our over all well being
by Copper Development Association, inc
Copper in HealthCopper Fact 1
Copper is essential in the human diet. It is needed for the normal growth and development of human fetuses, infants and children. In adults, it is necessary for the growth, development and maintenance of bone, connective tissue, brain, heart and many other body organs. Copper is involved in the formation of red blood cells, the absorption and utilization of iron, and the synthesis and release of life-sustaining proteins and enzymes. These enzymes produce cellular energy and regulate nerve transmission, blood clotting and oxygen transport. Copper is also known to stimulate the immune system, help repair injured tissues and promote healing. Copper has been shown to help neutralize "free radicals," which can cause severe damage to cells.
Copper Fact 2
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences' Food and Nutrition Board has issued a Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of 0.9 mg of copper per day for both men and women between the ages of 19 and 70. Copper is an especially important nutrient for expectant mothers and developing fetuses (1.0 mg per day), as well as nursing mothers and newborns (1.3 mg per day). Children between 9 and 18 need only 0.7 mg to 0.89 mg per day. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Nutrition Center estimates that less than half of the U.S. population consumes the MDR for copper.Copper Fact 3
Copper-rich foods include grains, nuts and seeds, organ meats such as liver and kidneys, shellfish, dried fruits, legume vegetables like string beans and potatoes, chicken and some unexpected and delightful sources such as cocoa and chocolate. Vegetarians generally get ample copper from their diet.Copper Fact 4
A deficiency in copper is one factor leading to an increased risk of developing high cholesterol levels and coronary heart disease in humans. Copper deficiencies are also associated with premature births, chronic diarrhea and stomach diseases.Copper Fact 5
Although excessive ingestion of copper can cause nausea and other adverse effects, the World Health Organization (WHO) has determined there is no major concern for setting an upper threshold, because toxic risk levels rarely exist.
The WHO board of environmental scientists said any risk should be assessed on the bioavailability of copper at a specific site; i.e., evaluation should not be based on total copper content, but rather on the volume of soluble copper that can actually be absorbed by humans or wildlife.Copper Fact 6
The Copper Development Association, along with manufacturers and governmental agencies, works actively with NSF International, a private organization that sets voluntary standards for public health and safety related to food, water and consumer goods.Copper Fact 7
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "Lead-Copper Rule" limits the amount of those metals measured at the faucet (after being held overnight) to 15 and 1,300 parts per billion, respectively. Based on these limits, NSF International has set a standard that limits the lead leaching from faucets to 11 parts per billion. NSF International certifies and labels products that meet these standards.Copper Fact 8
CDA, along with its brass and bronze ingot-producing member companies, has developed lead-free brass casting alloys. The alloys, called EnviroBrass I, II and III, employ a combination of selenium and bismuth to provide good castability and free-machining performance while offering significant environmental, health and safety benefits to foundrymen, machine shops, plumbing manufacturers and end users.Copper Fact 9
According to the Bible, Moses wrapped a brass serpent around a pole to help cure Jewish people who had been bitten by deadly snakes (Numbers 21:4-9). A similar theory of the origin comes from Greek mythology and is known as the Staff of Aesculapius. A rendition of it is the logo of the American Medical Association. Military doctors, for a time, displayed another version called the Caduceus which has two snakes twisted on a pole. Nowadays, both versions of the brass serpent on a pole are often used by health organizations.
Antimicrobial CopperCopper Fact 1
In February 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the registration of 275 antimicrobial copper alloys. By April 2011, that number expanded to 355. This permits public health claims that copper, brass and bronze are capable of killing harmful, potentially deadly bacteria. Copper is the first solid surface material to receive this type of EPA registration, which is supported by extensive antimicrobial efficacy testing. *
* U.S. EPA registration is based on independent laboratory tests showing that, when cleaned regularly, copper, brass and bronze kill greater than 99.9% of the following bacteria within 2 hours of exposure: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE), Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and E. coli O157:H7.Copper Fact 2
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that infections acquired in U.S. hospitals affect two million individuals every year and result in nearly 100,000 deaths annually. The use of copper alloys for frequently touched surfaces, as a supplement to existing CDC-prescribed hand-washing and disinfection regimens, has far-reaching implications.Copper Fact 3
Potential uses of the antimicrobial alloys where they can help reduce the amount of disease-causing bacteria in healthcare facilities include: door and furniture hardware, bed rails, over-bed trays, intravenous (IV) stands, dispensers, faucets, sinks and work stations.Copper Fact 4
Initial studies at the University of Southampton, UK, and tests subsequently performed at ATS-Labs in Eagan, Minnesota, for the EPA show that copper-base alloys containing 65% or more copper are effective against:
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE)
- Enterobacter aerogenes
- Escherichia coli O157:H7
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
These bacteria are considered to be representative of the most dangerous pathogens capable of causing severe and often fatal infections.
The EPA studies show that on copper alloy surfaces, greater than 99.9% of MRSA, as well as the other bacteria shown above, are killed within two hours at room temperature.Copper Fact 5
The MRSA "superbug" is a virulent bacterium resistant to broad spectrum antibiotics and, therefore, very difficult to treat. It is a common source of infection in hospitals and is increasingly being found in the community as well. According to the CDC, MRSA can cause serious, potentially life-threatening infections.Copper Fact 6
Unlike coatings or other materials treatments, the antibacterial efficacy of copper metals won't wear away. They are solid through-and-through and are effective even when scratched. They offer long-term protection; whereas, antimicrobial coatings are fragile, and can deteriorate or and wear off after time.Copper Fact 7
Congressionally funded clinical trials were begun in at three U.S. hospitals in 2007. They are evaluating the efficacy of antimicrobial copper alloys in stemming the infection rates of MRSA, vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and Acinetobacter baumannii, of particular concern since the beginning of the Iraq War. Additional studies are seeking to determine copper's efficacy on other potentially lethal microbes, including Klebsiella pneumophila, Legionella pneumophila, Rotavirus, Influenza A, Aspergillus niger, Salmonella enterica, Campylobacter jejuni and others.Copper Fact 8
A second congressionally funded program is investigating copper's ability to inactivate airborne pathogens in HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) environments. In today's modern buildings, there is strong concern about indoor air quality and exposure to toxic microorganisms. This has created a dire need to improve hygienic conditions of HVAC systems, which are believed to be factors in over 60% of all sick-building situations (e.g., aluminum fins in HVAC systems have been identified as sources of significant microbial populations).Copper Fact 9
In immunocompromised individuals, exposure to potent microorganisms from HVAC systems can result in severe and sometimes fatal infections. The use of antimicrobial copper instead of biologically-inert materials in heat exchanger tube, fins, condensate drip pans and filters may prove to be a viable and cost-effective means to help control the growth of bacteria and fungi that thrive in dark, damp HVAC systems.Copper Fact 10
Copper tube helps stem outbreaks of Legionnaire's Disease, where bacteria grow in and spread from the tubing and other materials in air-conditioning systems not made of copper. Copper surfaces are inhospitable to the growth of Legionella and other bacteria.Copper Fact 11
In the Bordeaux district of France, the 19th century French scientist Millardet noticed that vines daubed with a paste of copper sulfate and lime to make the grapes unattractive to theft appeared to be freer of downy mildew disease. This observation led to a cure (known as Bordeaux Mixture) for the dreaded mildew and prompted the commencement of protective crop spraying. Trials with copper mixtures against various fungal diseases soon revealed that many plant diseases could be prevented with small amounts of copper. Ever since, copper fungicides have been indispensable all over the world.Copper Fact 12
While conducting research in India in 2005, English microbiologist Rob Reed observed villagers storing water in brass vessels. When he asked them why they used brass, the villagers said it protected them against waterborne illnesses such as diarrhea and dysentery. Reed tested their theory under laboratory conditions by introducing E. coli bacteria to water in brass pitchers. Within 48 hours, the amount of living bacteria in the water had been reduced to undetectable levels.
Copper - an Important Natural ResourceCopper Fact 1
We're in no danger of running out of copper. Worldwide resources of this important and valuable metal are estimated at more than 8.1 trillion pounds of which only about 1.1 trillion (~13.6%) have been mined throughout history.
And keep in mind, a vast amount of those 1.1 trillion pounds is still in circulation because copper's recycling rate is higher than that of any other engineering metal.
|2007 U.S. Mine Production Compared with Current USGS Estimates of|
Copper Reserves and Resources
|billions of pounds||millions of metric tons|
|U.S. Mine Production||2.6||1.2|
|U.S. Reserve Base||154.3||70|
|World Reserve Base||2,072.3||940|
|Total World Resources||8,157.1*||3,700*|
|Mined worldwide throughout history||1,234.6||557|
|(*) Note: Based upon a preliminary global assessment in which the USGS is participating, discovered and undiscovered land-based copper resources are expected to exceed 3 billion metric tons.|
|Source: U.S. Geological Survey, 2008|
Until well into the 1800s, most copper used in the U.S.A. had to be imported. Today, we are virtually self-sufficient and, worldwide, second only to Chile in production.
The United States was the world's largest copper producer until 2000; beginning in 2000, Chile became the world's leading copper producer. The USA now produces about 8% of the world's copper supply.