Cinnaminson, NJ, September 8th, 2016
Copper has been used by mankind for thousands of years. It is an element and metal that occurs naturally in the environment. Today, copper, along with copper alloys and compounds, can be found in everything from jewelry, instruments and coins to building materials, electronics, wiring and motors, to name just a few applications.
Although copper is an essential element in plants and animals, exposure to high levels of copper can cause health concerns. The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) has developed a fact sheet with information about health issues related to copper and provides the following information about ways people can be exposed:
- People may be exposed to copper from breathing air, drinking water, eating foods or having skin contact with copper, particulates attached to copper or copper-containing compounds.
- Drinking water may have high levels of copper if a house or building has copper pipes and acidic water.
- Lakes and rivers that have been treated with copper compounds to control algae, or that receive cooling water from power plants, can have high levels of copper. Soils can also contain high levels of copper, especially if they are near copper smelting plants.
- People may be exposed to copper by ingesting copper-containing fungicides or if they live near or work in a copper mine, where copper is processed into bronze or brass, or are involved with grinding metals containing copper.
“The ATSDR does report that absorbing small amounts of copper every day is essential for good health, but high levels of copper can be harmful,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President of Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Breathing elevated levels of copper can cause irritation of the nose and throat. Ingesting high levels can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Very-high doses of copper can cause damage to the liver and kidneys, and can even cause death.”
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is working to identify exposure risks to elevated levels of copper. EMSL provides comprehensive copper analyses for everything from welding fumes and consumer products to soil and water samples. They also recently sponsored a video about occupational and environmental exposure concerns associated with copper that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/MCrlgy4N0us.
To learn more about testing for copper and other metals or other environmental, air quality, occupational, health and safety services, please visit www.EMSL.com, email info@EMSL.com or call (800) 220-3675.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.