London : According to researchers from University of Leicester, sweat can cause corrosion of bacteria-protective qualities of brass door-knobs and taps within an hour of contact, says IANS.

Sweaty hands can reduce the effectiveness of bacteria-fighting brass objects in hospitals and schools after just an hour of coming into contact with them, scientists claimed. The anti-microbial effect of copper has been known for hundreds of years. It is thought to occur as a result of a charge exchange between copper and bacteria, which leads to degradation of the bacteria’s DNA.

The team discovered that peoples’ sweat can, within an hour of contact with the brass, produce sufficient corrosion to adversely affect its use to kill a range of micro-organisms. “While it is well known that sweat corrodes brass, this is the first study to quantitatively analyse the temporal corrosion of copper alloys such as brass in the first few hours after contact between fingerprint sweat concentrations of salt and the metal,” Bond added.

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