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Our Response to COVID-19

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

To our community,

During these challenging times, we wish that you are taking the necessary precautions, staying safe and have the support from and continue supporting your friends and family!

We are writing this to keep you updated on the following topics:

Online Orders

We are continuing to accept orders online and have established a protocol that involves wearing a mask and gloves while packaging your copper bottle for shipment.

We encourage you to dispose of the packaging once you receive it and follow our copper bottle cleaning instructions before use.

A video that we have found helpful for bringing any external items into the house including groceries is linked below! We hope it is of use to you as well.

COVID-19 and Copper

To answer the questions we have been receiving on copper’s effectiveness on COVID-19, we are summarizing science backed research and the resources for you to refer to.

Yes, new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that copper kills COVID-19 (SARS-COV-2) virus within 4 hours as opposed to cardboard surfaces where the virus can survive up to 24 hours, and plastic & stainless steel surfaces where the virus can survive up to 72 hours.

This is incredible news for us “copper heads”! Adding on to the list of other germs copper has been proven to kill such as:

  • MRSA - inactivated by copper within 80 minutes

  • E. Coli - significant reduction (9 logs worth on the logarithmic scale) within 1 minute

  • Influenza A - 75% of the virus inactivated within 1 hour and 100% inactivation within 6 hours

  • Norovirus - inactivated within 5 minutes

In another study, E.Coli bacteria was exposed to dry copper surface and dry stainless steel surface for 1 minute. The image below demonstrates how effectively copper was able to damage and inactivate the E.Coli cells (shown in red) in comparison to stainless steel which was able to damage some but still harboured a significant amount of live bacteria (shown in green).

If you’re like us and have a hundred and one questions, one of them would be how does it do it? Copper kills germs on contact in the following ways:

  • By destroying cell membranes and targeting the DNA or RNA of the microbe.

  • By generating hydrogen peroxide that kills the microbe cell – this refers to the oxidation process that creates copper’s blueish-greenish patina.

  • Through ‘Mis-Metalation’ where the metal in the bacteria (protein) is replaced by copper thus inhibiting its function. This method is still not completely understood by researchers.

Note that the only way copper can kill germs is by being in contact with them, which means the copper surface has to be un-laquered (without any protective coating). That is exactly the reason why we sell copper bottles without any protective film on the outside or inside of our bottles – so you, our customers, can reap the most benefit.

Copper in Healthcare

The United States’ EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has registered copper alloys as an antimicrobial metal which permits its use in health-related technology. Apart from its antimicrobial property, Copper is also capable of killing a variety of fungi and viruses like COVID-19 and Norovirus we mentioned above.

Some applications of copper include:

  • Using touch surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, bedrails made of copper in hospitals. This study noted that in 2002, it was estimated that healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) cost the U.S. 271 deaths per day and around 40 BILLION dollars in treatment costs. Copper has been a great passive measure, that if employed even on a few surfaces, allows hospitals to reduce their HAIs by 58%. Another study conducted in a rural hospital demonstrated that using copper significantly reduced the bacterial burden caused from frequently touched surfaces.

  • Copper Oxide Containing respiratory masks have been proven to filter above 99.5% of Influenza A virus, for example, within 30 minutes.

Washing your hands as a behaviour is great in preventing infections, but using copper surfaces is a passive way and a great peace of mind that this metal is working for you without you having to think about it.

Issues with most re-usable bottles

A study published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health showed that there was significant bacterial contamination in water collected from personal re-usable water bottles compared to the original water source used to fill the water bottle.

Of course, some bacteria is not harmful, but in the samples taken, there were a considerable amount of water from re-usable water bottles that exceeded the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines – notably for total coliform, fecal coliform and hetrotrophic bacteria.

How does the water in the re-usable bottles get contaminated if the source water is within guidelines? There are a few possibilities that compound on one another:

  • Bottle left at room-temperature combined with moisture (water in the bottle) can result in bacterial growth in as little as 8-24 hours

  • The material of the bottle affects how long bacteria and viruses survive on its surface – for example, plastic bottles are notorious for harbouring germs upto a few days (ex. COVID-19 can survive on plastic surfaces for 72 hours)

  • Bottles coming into contact with other contaminated surfaces and being sneezed on or coughed on by others

  • The biggest culprit is our own hands – we navigate our world with our sense of touch throughout the day. After touching everything from our cellphones to door handles, we then hold our bottles usually from the lids which are more often than not made of plastic. So, if our hands are carrying any pathogens, they easily get transferred to our water bottles which we drink from.

Some ways to mitigate bacterial contamination includes washing your re-usable water bottles everyday and practicing good hygiene, this means washing our hands constantly!

Our Solution

Another solution is of course, using bottles made of material on which pathogens do not survive more than a few hours. We are talking about our Copper Bottles! If you have made it this far reading our blog, you already know that there is overwhelming evidence from scientific, peer-reviewed studies that copper is an antimicrobial metal, also capable of killing several fungi and viruses. The amount of time that copper takes to kill the various pathogens varies but is significantly reduced compared to other common surfaces such as cardboard, plastic and stainless steel.

It goes without saying that the higher the concentration of copper, the more effective it is in killing germs. Our bottles are made from 100% copper and are un-coated to allow you to reap the most benefits from this beautiful, recyclable, medicinal, antimicrobial metal.

Further research on how copper can be incorporated in health-related technology is exciting and a work in progress and as nerds, we vow to keep you updated.

In the meantime, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram at @taambashop where we strive to help fellow local businesses by spreading their word.

Sending everyone lots of positive vibes,

Taamba Team

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