Everywhere to look there are ads for face masks and you may have stumbled across one that contains copper. While it may sound strange that a hard and non-porous element such as copper could be used to cover your nose and mouth but there is some mixed messages about them. Why copper may be better than a surgical or cloth mask is that it can destroy bacteria and viruses. Copper contains positively charged ions that trap viruses that are negatively charged. Then the copper ions penetrate the viruses, stopping them from replicating. In fact a recent study found that copper is effective at inactivating the novel coronavirus within four hours. Now, as coronavirus has swept across the planet and forced more people to wear masks, more companies are thinking about incorporating copper into masks and prices range from $10 to $70. While the coronavirus can live up to days on a cloth mask, a mask interlaced with copper can kill the virus in a matter of hours. Although these masks aren’t designed for people who are at high risk of being exposed to those with COVID-19, they’re designed to be more hygienic, they can be washed and unlikely to interact with chemical cleaning solutions. However, buyer beware. There is a lot of research that still needs to be done about their effectiveness. Much of it depends on how much copper is in it. The best copper masks would have copper incorporated into every fiber, rather than just on one single layer embedded inside the mask.