Research Studies
Antimicrobial Copper CuLEAN® Strength Equipment

Peer-Reviewed Study in the American Journal of Infection Control Proves the Effectiveness of Antimicrobial Copper Handles on Strength Equipment

Infographics showing that antimicrobial copper kills all germs 24/7.

New independent research study from the Grinnell College Department of Biology confirms the ability of antimicrobial copper to kill bacteria on strength equipment handles and touch surfaces 24/7.

The Grinnell study on commercial gym equipment, published by The American Journal of Infection Control, focused on the effect of using antimicrobial copper handles on commonly-used pieces of strength equipment, including four types of weights (custom dumbbells, custom barbells, custom kettlebells, and speciality dumbbells known as Triple Threat® and three types of cable attachments (stirrup grips, lat pulldowns, and low rows).  The study compared antimicrobial copper handles to standard steel handles with a chrome finish. The antimicrobial copper handles proved to be 94% cleaner than the standard steel handles over a 16 month time period of testing.

Staphylococcus (Staph) was the most common type of bacteria found on the surfaces that the research team tested.  In recent years, a virulent form of this bacteria, MRSA, has infected athletes in professional, collegiate, and secondary school team sports.  Athletic facilities at Villanova, Purdue, Michigan, Bellarmine, Columbus Blue Jackets, St. Louis Cardinals, and others are now using commercial strength equipment with antimicrobial copper handles to help ensure the health and safety of their athletes.

The study found that commercial dumbbells were by far the “dirtiest” pieces of equipment tested at the Grinnell College Fitness Center, a popular gym facility for students, athletes, and faculty in Grinnell, Iowa.

“Our study highlights the ability of athletic surfaces to serve as reservoirs of bacteria,” according to Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Shannon M. Hinsa-Leasure, who led the research.  Copper’s ability to kill bacteria 24/7 is “useful for continuous hygiene maintenance”.

“Using copper alloys on high touch surfaces combined with other standard cleaning procedures could help lessen the spread of infection,” she said.

The Fitness Center research is the second major study on antimicrobial copper surfaces conducted by Hinsa-Leasure and her team at Grinnell’s Department of Biology.  The commercial strength equipment in the study were provided by Black Iron Strength® made with Cuverro® antimicrobial copper.

Interested in more studies about antimicrobial copper?  Read more here.