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Virginia companies get EPA approval for product’s bacteria-killing claims

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Two Virginia companies have received government approval to make a public health claim about the bacteria-killing features of a product they are marketing to health-care facilities.

Richmond-based Cupron Inc. and Hampton Roads-based EOS Surfaces are collaborating on the development of a solid countertop surface infused with copper oxide, a substance known for its antimicrobial features.

The companies say the product can help stop the spread of hospital-acquired infections, such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

The companies have received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make a public health claims that their copper-enhanced material can kill more than 99.9 percent of bacteria within two hours of exposure. Before this,  only elemental copper and certain copper alloys held this official distinction, the companies said.

“The EPA’s approval of our public health claims surrounding Cupron Enhanced EOS Surfaces is a pivotal moment in not only the commercialization of our technology, but also how health care facilities combat hospital infections,” Paul Rocheleau, chairman of Cupron, said in a statement.  Health-care acquired infections “have a devastating effect on the health-care environment, causing thousands of deaths and costing billions of dollars each year. While we fully acknowledge our surface won’t end this problem, we believe these innovative materials will provide an additional layer of protection in managing the risks associated with microbial control.”

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