Copper is the only metal independently-tested and approved by the US EPA to make public health benefit claims in connection with touch surface applications.
Official EPA Statement:
“[Antimicrobial Copper has] been rigorously tested and [has] demonstrated antimicrobial activity. After consulting with independent organizations – the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and the American Society for Healthcare Environmental Services (ASHES) – as well as a leading expert in the field (Dr. William A. Rutala, Ph.D., M.P.H.) the Agency has concluded that the use of these products could provide a benefit as a supplement to existing infection control measures. ”
* U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The US EPA requires that the following statement be included when making public health claims in the US related to the use of copper touch-surface items:
“The use of a Copper Alloy surface is a supplement to, and not a substitute for, standard infection control practices; users must continue to follow all current infection control practices, including those practices relating to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces. The Copper Alloy surface material has been shown to reduce microbial contamination, but it does not necessarily prevent cross contamination.”
Canada has also approved copper’s antimicrobial efficacy related to touch surfaces – see:
Ndegwa S. (2015) Antimicrobial Copper Surfaces for the Reduction of Health Care–Associated Infections in Intensive Care Settings [Issues in emerging health technologies, Issue 133]. Ottawa: Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health; 2015.