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Exposure to High Levels of Copper Raise Health Concerns in Occupational and Environmental Settings

LA Testing provides analytical services and sampling supplies to identify exposure risks to elevated levels of copper and other metals to protect workers, the public and the environment.


Huntington Beach, CA – WEBWIRE

Mankind has been using copper 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 of the countless applications it can be found in.

Copper is an essential element in plants and animals, but exposure to high levels of copper can cause health concerns. To provide information about exposure risks, the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) has published a fact sheet about concerns related to copper. In it, the agency provides the following information about ways people can come in contact with copper, they include the following exposure routes:

  • 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 receive cooling water from power plants that 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.

“According to the ATSDR, breathing elevated levels of copper can cause irritation of the nose and throat,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “They also report that 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.”

In California, LA Testing identifies exposure risks to elevated levels of copper through comprehensive copper analyses for everything from welding fumes and consumer products, to soil and water samples. The industrial hygiene and environmental laboratory has also sponsored an educational video about occupational and environmental exposure concerns associated with copper that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/MCrlgy4N0us.

To learn more about this or other occupational, environmental, air quality, health and safety testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email  info@LATesting.com  or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals.  In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states.  LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.


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