As COVID-19 continues to spread in South Korea and in other countries around the world, copper is coming under the spotlight as a material that can potentially kill the virus.
As a result, products are hitting shelves that are made with or contain the metal.
Kim Bo-kyoung tells us more.
This protective face mask looks different to the typical white ones we see attached to people’s faces as they walk the streets in South Korea.
Special fiber combined with copper and ion covers the mask’s surface, making it suitable to protect wearers against certain viruses.
According to Jeonbuk National University and the company that invented this blue mask, 99-point-8-percent of a virus died within 1 minute of coming into contact with the mask, and had disappeared within 10-minutes.
“We figured out how fast the virus dies with this fabric and we proved it can’t survive past 60 seconds.”
Another face mask made with string coated with copper has gone viral and sales have skyrocketed in South Korea.
Protective film made with copper that can cover elevator buttons, and air purifiers with copper filters are also popular.
To see whether copper products are really reliable virus-killers, the U.S. National Institutes of Health compared copper with other materials, such as plastic and stainless steel.
It found COVID-19 survived for 72-hours on plastic and 48 hours on stainless steel.
However, it was dead after just four hours on copper.
“Copper is reportedly effective in killing around 20 types of virus and theoretically effective in killing all viruses.”
Experts says copper itself is effective in killing viruses and bacteria.
Yet,… watchers say consumers need to see how effective each product made with copper is… before they use them to protect themselves.