By: Gadi Borkow and Jeffrey Gabbay

Copper has been used as a biocide by Celts, Hindus, American pioneers and Japanese, as well as by inhabitants of Africa and Asia for treating sores and skin diseases (1). Today, soluble copper compounds are used as bactericides, algaecides, fungicides or molluscicides. Copper has also been shown to inactivate a variety of enveloped and non-enveloped viruses (2).

Figure 1. Socks containing 12% copper impregnated fibers were washed up to 100 consecutive times by using AATCC test method (TM) 150. The copper impregnated fibers were analyzed by scanning electronic microscope (SEM). The amount of copper particles throughout the fibers was not changed. Moreover, as shown in the lower SEM picture, there was no reduction in copper oxide particles in socks used and worn 75 times.