Save lives, choose brass!

Brass door furniture, handrails and handles should be introduced to public buildings, hospitals and homes to help fight super bugs, according to scientists.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc and scientist have discovered that copper and alloys of copper have highly antimicrobial properties. Read on for a short review which makes a case for brass front door furniture as the healthy choice!

Period front door

“Researchers have discovered that copper and alloys made from the metal, including brass, can prevent antibiotic resistance in bacteria from spreading.

Professor Bill Keevil, head of the microbiology group at Southampton University, said using copper on surfaces in public places and on public transport could dramatically cut the threat posed by superbugs.

Professor Keevil said: “There are a lot of bugs on our hands that we are spreading around by touching surfaces. In a public building or mass transport, surfaces cannot be cleaned for long periods of time.

Until recently brass was a relatively commonly used surface. On stainless steel surfaces these bacteria can survive for weeks, but on copper surfaces they die within minutes.”

The Telegraph, 23rd December 2012

A solid brass mortice knob
A solid brass mortice knob

“Bacteria, yeasts, and viruses are rapidly killed on metallic copper surfaces, and the term “contact killing” has been coined for this process. While the phenomenon was already known in ancient times, it is currently receiving renewed attention. This is due to the potential use of copper as an antibacterial material in health care settings.

A 10-week trial in Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, was carried out with both copper and control surfaces such as plastic, chrome and aluminium in the same ward.

Numbers of bacteria recovered from surfaces of copper-containing items were between 90% and 100% lower than those from control surfaces. While MRSA and C. difficile were not isolated in this study, methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), and E. coli were found only on control surfaces but not on copper surfaces.”

Metallic Copper as an Antimicrobial Surface by Gregor Grass, Christopher Rensing and Marc Solioz3. Applied Environmental Microbiology. Mar 2011.

So if you want to beat the bugs go for brass door furniture. But a word to the wise, most brass door furniture is lacquered and this won’t do. The lacquer keeps all those lethal properties of the brass under wraps. Only unlacquered, solid brass hardware will do the trick.

Bespoke Front Door

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