Copper can effectively prevent the spread of respiratory viruses : Research claim

Some decades ago, copper vessels were widely used in India; however, due to problems in cleaning them and their weight, other lighter metals are now being used. Aluminium and other metals have been found to harm the body. Scientists are now realising how wise the Indians were in the past !

New Delhi – New research by the University of Southampton has found that copper can effectively help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, which are linked to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle-East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Animal coronaviruses that ‘host jump’ to humans, such as SARS and MERS, result in severe infections with high mortality. Researchers found that a closely-related human coronavirus – 229E – can remain infectious on common surface materials for several days, but is rapidly destroyed on copper.

A newly-published paper in mBio – a journal of the American Society for Microbiology – reports that human coronavirus 229E, which produces a range of respiratory symptoms from the common cold to more lethal outcomes such as pneumonia, can survive on surface materials including ceramic tiles, glass, rubber and stainless steel for at least five days. On copper, and a range of copper alloys – collectively termed ‘antimicrobial copper’ – the coronavirus was rapidly inactivated (within a few minutes, for simulated fingertip contamination). Therefore, many people use copper tubs for bathing.

Before 1980, copper pots were widely used in India; however, later, aluminium, steel, and other metal utensils were used, and the use of copper pots reduced.

In India, copper pots have been used for long. According to Ayurveda, copper has anti-bacterial properties. It also increases the immune system.