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CopperZap Natural Cold Prevention

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69.95 $69.95

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69.95 $69.95

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 CopperZap Natural Cold Prevention
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CopperZap Natural Cold Prevention

New research shows you can stop a cold naturally if you take one simple step with a new device when you feel a cold about to start.

Colds start when cold viruses get in your nose. Viruses multiply fast. If you don’t stop them early, they spread in your airways and cause misery.

Science has discovered a quick way to kill a virus – touch it with copper. Researchers at labs and universities worldwide all agree – copper is naturally “antimicrobial.” It kills microbes, such as germs and bacteria, just by touch.

That’s why ancient Greeks and Egyptians used copper thousands of years ago to purify water and heal wounds, and the British Navy used copper hundreds of years ago to keep drinking water pure on long ocean voyages.

American Civil War doctors used copper on wounds to prevent infection. They didn’t know about viruses and bacteria, but now we do.

Researchers say a tiny electric charge in microbe cells gets short-circuited by the high conductance of copper. This destroys the cell in seconds.

Germs die fast on copper, according to tests by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others. Some hospitals have responded by switching to copper for “touch surfaces,” like faucets, doorknobs, tray tables, and bed rails. This has cut the spread of MRSA and other illnesses in these hospitals by over half, and saved lives.

The strong scientific evidence gave inventor Doug Cornell an idea. The next time he felt a cold about to start, he fashioned a smooth copper probe and rubbed it gently in his nose for 60 seconds.

“It worked!” he exclaimed. “The cold went away completely.”

It worked again every time he felt a cold coming on. He reports he has never had a cold since.

Natural Cold Remedy

Copper turns out to be a natural cold preventive. So he patented CopperZap™ and put it on the market.

Soon hundreds of people had tried it and given feedback. Over 99% percent said the copper stops their colds if used within 3 hours after the first sign. Even up to 2 days, if they still get the cold it is milder than usual and they feel better.

Users wrote things like, “It stopped my cold right away,” and “I love it!” and “Is it supposed to work that fast?”

The Science Behind CopperZap

Copper Kills Germs and Bacteria

Decades of scientific research have demonstrated over and over that copper kills germs on contact.[A22][W1] (A list of micro-organisms found to be killed, inactivated, or inhibited by copper appears in the Appendix at the bottom of this article.)

“The antimicrobial activity of copper and copper alloys is now well established, and copper has recently been registered at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the first solid antimicrobial material.”[B2]

“Science supporting the EPA registration … has sparked a global campaign advocating the use of these materials to improve infection control in healthcare facilities, mass transit, educational institutions and beyond. … The only solid antimicrobial touch surface approved by the EPA. Never wears out. … Natural tarnishing does not impair efficacy. Safe to use. Not harmful to people or the environment. … Completely recyclable.”[3]

“Antimicrobial Copper surfaces in hospital rooms can reduce the number of healthcare-acquired infections by 58 percent.”[4] (“Antimicrobial Copper” is a trademark of the Copper Development Association.)

“The surfaces of copper and its alloys, such as brass and bronze, are antimicrobial. They have an inherent ability to kill a wide range of harmful microbes relatively rapidly with a high degree of efficacy. These antimicrobial properties have been demonstrated by an extensive body of research.”[W5]

“Metallic copper surfaces kill microbes on contact, decimating their populations, according to a paper in the February 2011 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. They do so literally in minutes, by causing massive membrane damage after about a minute’s exposure, says the study’s corresponding author, Gregor Grass of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

“When microbes were exposed to copper surfaces, we observed contact killing to take place at the rate of tens to hundreds of millions of bacterial cells within minutes, says Grass. This means that usually no live micro-organisms can be recovered from copper surfaces after exposure.”

“The healing power of copper has been recognized for thousands of years. More than 4,000 years ago, the Egyptians used it to sterilize wounds and drinking water and the Aztecs treated skin conditions with the metal. The ancient Greeks also knew of its benefits. Hippocrates, sometimes called ‘the father of medicine’, noted that it could be used to treat leg ulcers. Today, copper is a common constituent in medicines including antiseptic and antifungal creams.”

“Copper is considered safe to humans, as demonstrated by the widespread and prolonged use of copper intrauterine devices (IUDs) by women. In contrast to the low sensitivity of human tissue (skin or other) to copper, microorganisms are extremely susceptible to copper.”

Copper Kills Cold and Flu Germs and Many Others

Copper inactivates Rhinovirus 2, which causes colds, and Influenza A, which causes flu.[10] Copper kills corona19, which are a cause of the common cold and pneumonia.[1a] Copper is used in advanced surgical masks as part of a defense against cold and flu viruses and other pathogens.[9] Copper can help prevent colds and flu.[11] Copper has potent virucidal properties.[A19] 

Copper kills many other pathogens (harmful viruses and bacteria), including ones that are highly resistant to antibiotics. Studies show copper kills MRSA, C.Diff, E.Coli, Fungi, and even Adenovirus, which is said to be one of the most difficult viruses to inactivate and is a cause of pneumonia and bronchitis.[W1] Studies show copper also kills MTB, which is considered extremely multi-drug resistant, as well as pathogens responsible for Staph infections[5], Salmonella, Klebsiella, and others.[B2]

In March 2013 a representative of the Copper Development Association, which has coordinated much of the recent research as steward of the EPA registration activities, told us researchers have yet to find any type of germ that is not killed by physical contact with bare copper. By contrast, a number of the studies cited note that on stainless steel and other surfaces harmful microorganisms can live for weeks or even months.

No germs are believed to have developed resistance to copper, even though humans have used copper for over 4000 years. Copper is even effective against newly evolved antibiotic-resistant strains of old public health enemies.[12]

“Natural tarnishing does not impair the bacteria killing power of Antimicrobial Copper. EPA registrations 85012, 1-6.”[13] (“Antimicrobial Copper” is a trademark of the Copper Development Association.)

Copper Reduces Germs Transferred by Touch

Scientists are actively demonstrating the intrinsic efficacies of copper alloy “touch surfaces” to destroy a wide range of micro-organisms that threaten public health.[W1]

Scientists have accumulated substantial knowledge regarding the antimicrobial properties of copper alloy touch surfaces, including results of clinical trials conducted at hospitals around the world, resulting in registration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of various different copper alloys as “antimicrobial materials” with public health benefits.[W5]

“Copper eliminates bacteria from skin.”[14]

“Copper has potent biocidal properties. Copper ions, either alone or in copper complexes, have been used for centuries to disinfect liquids, solids and human tissue.”[10]

Copper Reduces Germs Transferred by Touch

“Once surfaces are contaminated with virus particles, fingers can transfer particles to up to seven other clean surfaces…. Because of copper’s ability to destroy influenza A (flu) virus particles, copper can help to prevent cross-contamination of this viral pathogen.”[W1]

“Antimicrobial copper surfaces can reduce the number of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) by 58% as compared with touch surfaces that do not use copper, according to a new study.”[15] (“Antimicrobial Copper” is a trademark of the Copper Development Association.)][10], Yellow Fever[A19]

Pure Copper Works Better Than Copper Alloys

The germ-killing power of copper alloys is correlated with the percent of copper in the alloy.[W1] The higher the copper content the better. Some of the EPA-registered alloys are as low as 60% copper. CopperZap™ is made from 99.9% pure solid copper, which is indicated to have the greatest power to kill bacteria and viruses.

Such pure copper is harder to machine and harder on tooling than copper mixed with other metals. We put in a lot of effort to overcome these problems, however, so we could use the most potent form of copper in CopperZap™.

How Copper Works

Scientists have identified a number of ways copper can destroy bacteria and germs. One is electrical.

Copper is highly conductive to electricity. “Every cell’s outer membrane, including that of a single cell organism like a bacterium, is characterized by a stable electrical micro-current. This is often called ‘transmembrane potential’, and is, literally, a voltage difference between the inside and the outside of a cell. It is strongly suspected that when a bacterium comes in contact with a copper surface, a short circuiting of the current in the cell membrane can occur. This weakens the membrane and creates holes.”[16]

In other words, copper zaps the cell.

Copper is the second most conductive metal after silver. Silver also kills microbes on contact, but silver is highly toxic and too dangerous to use on mucous membranes. (Zinc, the third most conductive metal, is also known to kill germs but is also potentially toxic. The FDA has warned that zinc can damage the sense of smell. Some people say it has also affected their sense of taste and can cause nausea.)

Copper alloys with even a very small amounts of other metals mixed in are not as conductive as pure copper. The fact that pure copper works better than other copper alloys supports the idea that electrical conductivity is a source of the power of copper to reduce the spread of infectious illness.

Other ways copper affects germs involve oxides, enzymes, proteins, and copper ions, which are released from the copper and suffuse into the fluid around the germs.

“Another way to make a hole in a membrane is by localized oxidation or ‘rusting.’ This happens when a single copper molecule, or copper ion, is released from the copper surface and hits a building block of the cell membrane (either a protein or a fatty acid). If the ‘hit’ occurs in the presence of oxygen, we speak of ‘oxidative damage,’ or ‘rust.’ An analogy is rust weakening and making holes in a piece of metal.

“After punching holes, how do copper ions further damage the cell?

“Now that the cell’s main defense (its outer envelope) has been breached, there is an unopposed stream of copper ions entering the cell. This puts several vital processes inside the cell in danger. Copper literally overwhelms the inside of the cell and obstructs cell metabolism (i.e., the biochemical reactions needed for life). These reactions are accomplished and catalyzed by enzymes. When excess copper binds to these enzymes, their activity grinds to a halt. The bacterium can no longer ‘breathe’, ‘eat’, ‘digest’ or ‘create energy’.

“How can copper’s effect be so fast, and affect such a wide range of micro-organisms?

“Experts explain the speed with which bacteria perish on copper surfaces by the multi-targeted nature of copper’s effects. After membrane perforation, copper can inhibit any given enzyme that ‘stands in its way,’ and stop the cell from transporting or digesting nutrients, from repairing its damaged membrane, from breathing or multiplying. It is also thought that this is why such a wide range of micro-organisms are susceptible to contact action by copper.”[16]

According to Guillermo Figueroa of the nutrition and food technology department of the University of Chile in Santiago, it’s the ions, or atoms, released by the copper that kill bacteria. “Copper ions separate on contact with bacteria and cause irreversible damage to the bacteria’s cells,” Figueroa said. “It is a very swift, physical chemical process. They die quickly.”[17]

“At the current state of knowledge, it appears that contact killing proceeds by successive membrane damage, copper influx into the cells, oxidative damage, cell death, and DNA degradation.”[B2]

The Idea for CopperZap™

The science above has led to rising use of solid copper touch surfaces in healthcare facilities such as hospitals. These are “community” touch surfaces, meaning surfaces that are touched by numerous people. If patients or healthcare workers have pathogens on their fingers and touch a copper surface, they leave some of the pathogens on the copper. The copper kills the pathogens rapidly, which helps protect the next person who touches that surface and helps reduce the spread of the pathogen.
But the person who left some pathogens on the surface still has some on their fingers. People naturally touch their faces many times a day, so the person may deposit some of the pathogens near their nose before they next wash their hands. From there the pathogens have a short trip to the nose, their “happy valley” where they can accumulate and multiply, make the person ill, and cause the person to later spread pathogens to others, including their families.
So the idea came up that a “personal” copper touch surface might increase protection both in and out of healthcare settings by attacking pathogens directly on the skin. When a person touches a community touch surface, the contact is usually quite brief and only reaches a small portion of the fingertips. With a personal copper touch surface, on the other hand, carried on the person or available close by, a person could rub their fingers on it for 60 seconds and touch the copper to the entire area of the fingertips.
Also, pathogens deposited on  a community touch surface are usually in a gob or film of moisture or mucous, saliva or other medium. The copper is only in direct contact with the first layer of pathogens. It takes time for the other pathogens to come in direct contact or to be reached by copper ions diffusing through the medium. By rubbing fingers on a personal touch surface, on the other hand, the medium gets spread around and the copper can directly contact many more of the pathogens, so destruction of pathogens should be more complete in a shorter time.
In community touch surfaces, solid copper reduces germs on the surface. But in a personal touch surface, solid copper may help reduce germs on the skin, not just on the surface. Preliminary research described below gives support to this idea.
The idea for CopperZap™ first arose, however, as a way to apply a virus-killing metal by touch in the nose to stop colds, without the side effects of nasal gels or sprays. Colds generally occur after cold viruses incubate for a time in the inner cavity of the nostril. During the incubation period, some people begin to feel a tickle in their nose that feels different from allergies and warns that a cold is about to start. It makes logical sense that applying solid copper, which is known to kill viruses, should beat back the cold virus and allow the immune system to quickly gain the upper hand.
The logic led to the idea of a solid copper nasal wand with a tip that can be rubbed gently along the valley in the bottom of the inner cavity of the nostril. That’s where the cold germ first collects, replicates, and multiplies before the cold starts. By rubbing for 60 seconds, the copper tip touches a large number of the viruses. Some of the studies cited above noted that copper kills viruses faster at warmer temperatures. The inside of the nostril is warmer than the temperatures at which most of the studies were conducted, so the virus-killing should be even faster. Preliminary research cited below supports the idea that a solid copper nasal wand can prevent a cold if applied at the first warning tickle.
Some people, however, do not notice a tickle in the nose and don’t realize a cold is coming on until a later sign appears, like a scratchy throat or congestion. These are believed to happen as the viruses start to spread out from the valley of the nostril. The logic suggests that you can still stop the cold if you apply copper right away. You can still destroy a large portion of the virus population, especially if you repeat the application several times, even though you many not reach the virues that have spread into the throat or the upper portion of the nose. By greatly reducing the number of viruses where they incubate, our preliminary research suggests, you may give the immune system a better chance to get ahead of the cold and stop it before major symptoms appear.
Once full-blown symptoms appear, the viruses have spread out so much that it is probably too late to completely stop the cold. Copper can still destroy a large number of viruses in the nostril, which may allow the immune system to get ahead of the rest of the viruses sooner and thereby mitigate the severity and/or reduce the duration of the cold. Preliminary research cited below supports this idea.
If a solid copper nasal wand is combined with a solid copper handle, a person trying to prevent a cold also naturally touches their fingers and thumb to the handle, which should reduce the chance they could recontaminate themselves with their fingers or spread any infectious illness to others.
CopperZap™ combines a solid copper nasal wand with a solid copper touch surface handle to create a single low-cost device for personal use.

Preliminary Research

A number of people have tried solid copper when they felt they were getting a cold. They gently rubbed a solid copper wand for about 60 seconds in each nostril. The ones who did so early, before significant cold symptoms developed, all reported they did not get the cold. It appears copper killed enough cold viruses to stop the cold completely, or to help the immune system to do so.

Some other people who tried it already had significant cold symptoms by the time they applied copper. Of those, all said they believed the cold was less severe or did not last as long as they expected based on their past experience with colds. More research is needed, but it seems in those cases the cold viruses had already spread out from the nostrils into the throat, up to higher portions of the nose, or to the sinuses. Yet by zapping a number of viruses in the nostrils, the copper may have allowed the immune system to gain the upper hand more quickly.

Solid copper seemed to work in a similar manner against flu if the flu starts in the nose, though flu takes more applications over a longer period than colds do. A small number of people reported signs more consistent with oncoming flu than cold.  Those who applied copper frequently over 2-3 days reported the flu never fully developed and all signs were gone by day 3 or 4.  As with colds, however, it was important to start using copper as early as possible after noticing the first signs.  Cases of apparent flu that start in the throat, rather than the nose, did not seem responsive to copper in the nose, although persistent application of solid copper in the nose may have reduced the congestion that sometimes develops later during a flu that started in the throat.

In a small preliminary test, we found that a residue of copper remained in the nostrils and also on the fingers and thumb after rubbing with copper for about 60 seconds. We expected the residue to be absorbed over time. We found that on the fingers and thumb, the residue declined by about 40% in the first 20 minutes. In the nostril, the residue declined by about 60% in the first 20 minutes, presumably because mucous membranes absorb faster than skin.

In a small preliminary lab test, participants who rubbed their fingers and thumbs on clean solid copper for 60 seconds showed a significant reduction in bacteria on fingers and thumbs 15 minutes later, compared with participants who rubbed their fingers and thumbs on stainless steel.

More research is needed, so we plan to provide free CopperZaps™ for testing by qualified researchers upon approval of research protocols. Contact us:

Ergonomic Shape

The tip of CopperZap is smooth and comfortable to apply gently in the inner cavity of the nostril. It is shaped to reach easily into the valley in the bottom of the nostril, where viruses collect and replicate.

The handle of CopperZap is smooth and contoured to achieve maximize contact with the fingers and thumb and to be easy and comfortable to rub while holding in one hand. A solid copper personal touch surface may protect against pathogens received on the hands, especially in hospitals, doctor’s offices, day care, or after handling money. It may also reduce the chance of spreading infectious illness to family members, friends, co-workers, and others.

The handle is also comfortable to rub on the face around the nose and mouth where airborn germs may land or where people may touch their faces, which people do much more often than most of us realize. The touch of solid copper on the face may reduce the number of pathogens reaching the nose.

All surfaces of CopperZap have a fine microscopic texture to increase the surface area contact with microbes for faster and more thorough effect.  The texture is so fine the surfaces still feel smooth on the skin and in the nose.


What is CopperZap™?

CopperZap™ is a solid copper nasal wand and personal touch surface. It is designed to apply the touch of solid copper to the nose and skin. Extensive research demonstrates that solid copper kills bacteria and viruses by touch in minutes. Hospitals using solid copper touch surfaces have greatly reduced the spread of infectious illness. CopperZap™ is designed for people to easily apply copper to their own hands, faces, and nostrils, whenever they want. Application of copper is suggested in the nose at the first sign of cold or flu, and on the fingers, hands and face after visiting a hospital or doctor’s office, or a day care or elder care facility, or after being in public or handling money.

How can only 60-seconds have much effect?

By sliding the CopperZap™ tip around in the inner nostril, the solid copper comes in contact with a large percentage of the microbes present. Evidence suggests the zapping effect starts in seconds and the microbes die within a few minutes. CopperZap™ also leave ions (or atoms) of copper in the nostril, which may continue killing microbes for some minutes. The same is true about the fingers and thumbs when you rub them on the solid copper handle.

How does it work?

Hundreds of studies have shown that bacteria and viruses die rapidly when they come into direct physical contact with solid copper. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) supervised studies showing that solid copper “touch surfaces” kill germs that can make people sick. CopperZap™ puts the touch of solid copper in your nose, where cold and flu viruses collect and multiply. Scientists believe the electrical conductance of the copper disrupts the delicate electrical balance between the inside and the outside of the cell membrane of a microbe. The copper causes a microscopic electrical “zap” and pops holes in the cell membrane. You can’t feel it, but it kills the microbe. People even say the copper feels good. Rub the tip of the wand gently in the inside cavity of each nostril for 60 seconds at the first sign of a cold. Over 99% of people who have tried it and reported back say the copper stopped the cold if used within the first 3 hours, or at least make it milder or shorter if used later than 3 hours. Research also suggests that rubbing your fingers and thumb on solid copper for 60 seconds can reduce the bacteria and viruses on your hands, which may reduce the spread of infectious illness to yourself and others. CopperZap™ has a solid copper touch surface handle designed for maximum contact with fingertips and thumb tips.

Are there side effects?

CopperZap™ has no known side effects when used as directed. Humans have been using copper for thousands of years for disinfecting water and for medical purposes. Water pipes are often made of copper. Copper IUDs have been in use for many years. Copper is a natural element in many foods. We all have copper in our bodies. Copper is vital for tissue health. Many nutritional supplements and medicines, such as antiseptic and antifungal creams, contain copper. When used on the skin and in the nose, copper leaves a slight residue of copper atoms which are gradually absorbed. People with a rare condition of hypersensitivity to copper, however, are directed not to use CopperZap™. See the Directions for symptoms which might indicate hypersensitivity to copper. People with a rare contact dermatitis allergy to copper, with redness, itching, swelling or skin lesions where the skin is touched by copper, should not use CopperZap™.

Does it need to be sterilized?

No. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says copper is “continuously self-sanitizing” because it inherently kills microbes, including bacteria and viruses, present on it. So it sterilizes itself. In tests supervised by the EPA, dangerous bacteria and viruses could not survive long on bare solid copper, as opposed to stainless steel where some survived for months.

If it is self-sterilizing, why does it need to be cleaned?

Because the copper surface must be free of oil and dirt for maximum effect. A thin layer of oil or dirt can prevent the copper from directly touching the germs. It takes direct physical contact with the copper itself to kill the germs.

What about tarnish?

The EPA research concluded that tarnish does not reduce the effectiveness of copper against germs. Tarnish is the natural change in color that copper undergoes when exposed to air and moisture. In some applications, the tarnish is considered beautiful and is called “patina”. It is easy to restore the original shine of copper, however, by rubbing metal polish on it for a few seconds. There are several brands of copper polish available in many grocery stores. It may be wise to wear rubber gloves and be sure to wash all the polish off, so you don’t absorb polish through your skin or nose.

Does copper kill beneficial bacteria at the same time as harmful ones?

A few, yes, but not like antibiotics, which can kill massive numbers of beneficial bacteria. Copper only kills bacteria it actually touches, like on the fingers and in the nose. There are billions of beneficial or neutral bacteria on our hands and in our bodies that are not affected.

Do bacteria and germs develop immunity to copper?

Not according to the research. Some scientists have pointed out that micro-organisms die so fast when touched by copper that they cannot replicate or pass their DNA on to other micro-organisms, which is one of the ways bacteria and viruses often adapt and become resistant. Humans have been using copper for thousands of years, and yet in all that time, no strain of micro-organism has yet been found that can live very long on a clean copper surface, according to the CDA.

Can I use CopperZap instead of hand-washing?

Copper enhances hygiene and sanitary practices but is not a substitute for the basics, like hand-washing. CopperZap is especially useful for situations where you cannot immediately wash your hands. Touch your CopperZap frequently whenever you are out and about meeting with people, shopping, traveling, or at a party, a school, a hospital, etc.

Why isn't the benefit of touching solid copper more widely known?

Before scientists discovered bacteria and viruses, people did not know why copper worked so well as a disinfectant. For example, during cholera outbreaks that killed thousands of people, doctors noticed that copper workers did not get sick, but they didn’t know why because they did not know about microbes. Even when bacteria and viruses were discovered, it took a long time to figure out how copper affected them. The medical community started to figure it out, however, and by the 1930s copper was coming into wider use in hospitals and doctors’ offices. But then antibiotics came along and interest in copper died down. Copper was expensive and no longer seemed necessary. In the last 20 years or so the dawning recognition that antibiotics are losing effectiveness has sparked renewed interest in copper. The word is getting out about copper’s effects, but slowly. There is a natural tendency to pass it off at first as a fad or hype, partly because of copper bracelets, which are thought by many to be based on superstition

What about copper bracelets, do they work?

Copper bracelets actually may provide a degree of health benefit. They probably kill bacteria on the skin of the wrist where they are worn and on the skin of the fingers of the other hand when touching the bracelet or putting it on or taking it off. And they may help boost the copper in the system of people who may be deficient in copper in their bodies. But their shape is not ideal for maximizing copper contact with the fingers and thumbs of both hands, and they cannot reach into the crucial area inside the nose. Some people say copper bracelets help with arthritis. It is possible, but scientific research has failed to confirm it.

Can I just rub my fingers on copper pennies?

Yes, even copper pennies might give some benefit, but they need to be thoroughly cleaned first since grit and grime and oil from hundreds of other people’s fingers might keep the copper from directly touching the microbes on your fingers. A penny also can’t reach very far into the nose to kill microbes there, unless you have a very big nose and are not worried about how to get it out.

Does CopperZap™ turn the skin green like some copper jewelry does?

No, not unless worn on the skin for a long time. Copper jewelry held against the skin for a few days can cause a temporary greenish color to appear on the skin where it has been in contact with the copper. This goes away after the jewelry is taken off. CopperZap™ is not designed to be held against the skin for more than a few minutes at a time.

If copper works so well, why can't I just take copper pills?

Because copper inside your body does not touch germs on your skin or in your nose. If disease germs are already inside your body, such as in your bloodstream, there is no safe way to take in enough copper to help. Too much copper can be toxic. A normal diet provides plenty of copper for tissue health and the other vital benefits of copper in the body. Copper pills might overwhelm the system without doing much good on the skin or in the nose.

What if I feel uncomfortable sticking something up my nose?

That’s understandable, but having a cold is pretty uncomfortable, too, and can spread to others and keep you from enjoying life for a while. Try it, very very gently. It is not supposed to hurt. Think about all those nasty viruses the copper is attacking. After trying it once or twice, it may not seem so uncomfortable after all.

Germs spread easily on airplanes, so people often get sick after air travel.  Use copper for protection.  The TSA allows CopperZaps on board.

"Sixteen flights and not a sniffle!"Karen Gauci, AZ


Young children carry lots of germs and spread them fast to practically everything the teacher will touch during the workday.



"손을 씻고 건조기에 말려야 코로나19 균이 죽는다", "마늘을 끓여 마시거나 양파를 잘라서 놓으면 코로나19 치료와 예방이 가능하다".

신종 코로나 감염증(코로나19)과 관련해 인터넷과 SNS(사회관계망서비스)에 떠도는 정보들이다. 언뜻 과학적 지식이나 상식에 부합하는 듯하지만 허위·미확인 '가짜정보'인 경우가 많다.

이런 가운데 최근 인터넷 블로그 등에선 '구리'(銅)가 코로나 19 박멸에 효과가 있다는 글들이 게재돼 관심을 끈다. 원소기호 29번으로 표면이 적갈색을 띠는 구리는 전기 전도성이 뛰어나고 항균 특성을 갖는 금속으로 알려져 있다. 

구리 살균효과, 히포크라테스도 알았다

이달 중순 LG상남도서관이 운영하는 인터넷 블로그에는 '코로나 19을 막는 방법, 구리는 알고 있다'는 제목의 포스트가 올라왔다.

항균 효과가 탁월한 구리가 메르스(중동호흡기증후군)나 사스(중증급성호흡기증후군)를 유발하는 인간 코로나균을 파괴한다는 과학적 연구 결과를 근거로 병원이나 공공장소 시설에 활용하면 세균 전파를 막는 데 효과적이란 내용이다.

구리가 살균·항균에 효과적인 작용을 한다는 것은 오래 전부터 알려진 사실이다. 고대 이집트 파피루스의 기록엔 구리를 사용해 식수를 살균하고 상처를 소독했다는 내용이 있다고 한다. 고대 페르시아에서도 식수를 구리 그릇에 저장해야 한다는 법이 있었다고 한다.

서양 의학의 아버지인 히포크라테스는 이미 기원전 400년쯤 정맥류에 의한 다리궤양에 구리를 쓸 것을 권장했다. 고대 그리스인과 로마인, 아스텍인 등도 공중 보건과 치료에 구리를 활용했다. 

구리 이온, 세포막 침투해 세균 비활성화

구리는 어떻게 박테리아나 세균 등 미생물을 죽일까. 구리에도 여러 금속에 있는 '미량동'(oligodynamic) 작용이 나타난다. 미량의 금속 이온이 미생물의 대사작용을 교란해 박멸하는 효과를 말한다.

구리 표면의 박테리아는 구리 이온을 필수 영양소로 인식해 세포 안으로 흡수한다. 하지만 흡수된 구리 이온으로 박테리아 세포막에 구멍이 나고 세균은 영양분과 수분을 잃게 된다. 이어 구리 이온이 세포막 구멍을 통해 활성 산소를 끌어당기면 박테리아가 완전히 사멸하는 과정을 거친다고 한다.

LG상남도서관에 따르면, 구리가 세균을 잡는 과정도 비슷하다. 독감 인자인 인플루엔자 균, 겨울철 식중독의 주범인 노로 바이러스는 물론 인간 코로나19에 대한 구리의 항바이러스 효과를 입증한 과학적 연구 결과도 있다.

LG상남도서관 블로그 

"5일 살아남은 코로나, 구리 표면에선 30분내 사멸"

영국 사우샘프턴대 연구진이 2015년 미국미생학학회지인 '엠바이오'(mBio)에 발표한 연구 결과에 따르면, 인간 코로나(229E)는 세라믹 타일이나 유리, 고무, 스테인레스 스틸 등의 표면에선 최소 5일 동안 살아남았다. 하지만 구리와 구리 합금을 포함한 '항균 구리' 표면에선 세균이 30분 이내에 급속히 비활성화하면서 사멸했다고 한다.

국내에서도 비슷한 연구 결과가 있었다. 2010년 서울아산병원 의료진은 국제구리협회, LS니꼬동제련과 공동으로 구리의 항균 관련 임상시험을 6개월간 진행했다. 환자 접촉 빈도가 높은 병원 내 문 손잡이와 링거 스탠드, 수도꼭지, 침대 손잡이 등의 소재를 플라스틱·스테인리스에서 구리로 교체해 세균과 박테리아 개체수를 조사하는 실험이었다. LS니꼬동제련 관계자는 "당시 연구 결과 구리의 살균 기능과 병원 내 2차 감염 예방 효과가 입증됐다"며 "관련 논문도 발표됐던 것으로 안다"고 했다. 

병원 내 교차오염 예방효과…비싼 가격에 산화 '단점'

사우샘프턴대 임상팀은 실험 이후 "항균 구리 표면제를 공공장소 설비에 사용하면 호흡기 세균 전파를 줄이고 공공 보건에 도움 줄 것"이라고 조언했다. 구리 합금 표면재의 활용과 효과적인 손 씻기 등 세척 습관 임상 진료를 결합하면 세균스 전파에 잘 대처할 수 있다는 것이다.

구리의 항균 효과가 병원 내 교차오염을 줄인 실험 사례도 있다. 영국 버밍엄의 셀리 오크 병원에선 시설물을 스테인리스스틸에서 구리로 바꾼 후 유해 세균을 90% 이상 줄였다고 한다. 하지만 구리는 가격이 비싸고 쉽게 산화한다는 단점이 있다. 전세계를 덮친 코로나19 도 사멸되는지 여부는 차치하고라도 일상에서 활용하는 소재를 모두 구리로 대체하기엔 현재로선 한계가 있는 셈이다.  

폐암세포 80%를 죽였다

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