It has been known for thousands of years that copper protects from growth of mildew and algae. The ancient Romans used copper coins in their water pots to ensure hygienity. Today copper and copper compounds are used in for example anti-fouling paints to prevent barnacles' fastening to boat hulls and at vineyards to suppress the growth of fungus and mould.
How copper works in antifouling paint
The antimicrobial properties of copper could also be utilized more efficiently by using copper or its alloys on surfaces where harmful pathogenes may grow and spread. Traditionally brass has been used in keys, doorknobs and handrails, but many possible applications are still emerging.
Read more about antimicrobial properties and applications of copper and its alloys: www.copperinfo.co.uk/antimicrobial/