University of Leicester, United Kingdom discovered that the bacteria- protective qualities of brass door knobs and taps in hospitals and schools are deteriorated within an hour after coming in contact with sweat as sweat produces an oxide layer on the metal due to such contact.

human sweat

Copper, which is famous for its antimicrobial properties is used in various brass items to avert the spread of diseases, but people’s sweat can cause its erosion and reduce its medicinal effects.

According to Dr. John Bond, Everyone knows that sweat oxidises brass due the salt present in the sweat, but it is the first study which quantitatively analyses the oxidization of alloys in first few hours after coming in contact with the fingerprint sweat and the metal. He further added that brass in public places should be properly and regularly cleaned so as to keep it free from corrosion. In future, using copper alloys which retrain corrosion should only be included in buildings, hospitals and schools.

The research paper was shown in the Applied Surface Science Journal.