When it comes to the safety of you and your loved ones, no information is too much for you to know. And when it comes to the water that you are drinking, knowing how you can protect yourself from the potential risks... can be incredibly helpful. You can start by knowing what Copper can do to your body when it finds its way into your drinking water.
What is Copper?
Copper is a metallic element that naturally occurs in the human body. There are trace amounts of it in the bloodstream and it is needed in order for organs to function, provided they are in the right levels.
Effects Of Too Much Copper In The BodyCopper in water can change the levels of copper in your body drastically. It can increase the amounts of the element in the body as well as the frequency with which it is added. As mentioned, copper allows the body's various systems to work properly, and this makes it important to keep it at a healthy level. Problems will occur when there is too little or too much copper in the body. In the case of too much, you could suffer from...
Copper ToxicityCopper Toxicity can cause several unpleasant effects that depend on the period of exposure.
Short termFor those who have been drinking water that is contaminated with copper for a short period can suffer from issues in the digestive system. Symptoms like:
- Vomiting is usually an expected problem, with or without blood,
- Gastrointestinal distress.
Long termFor those who are exposed for too long can suffer from permanent damage to the liver and kidney are the likeliest results. Aside from the physical effects that are likely to manifest, emotional imbalances can also occur such as,
Copper In WaterSo how does copper get into our drinking water in the first place? The answer to this is the plumbing and sometimes from the metal pipes or faucets that are commonly found in your home. With pipes being constantly in contact with so much running water, the chemicals interacting between the water and the pipes can cause the plumbing to erode and release copper into the stream. With that being the case, it eventually finds its way into your household and then into your glass. Other factors can also increase the risk of erosion such as the minerals surrounding the plumbing, the flow of the water, temperature and even acidity.
Government Copper RegulationDifferent Governments have different methods of addressing the concern of copper toxicity in water supplies. However, most follow the same protocol:
- Putting down regulations on how much copper should be in the water
- Steps that should be taken in order to prevent the build-up of too much copper
- Informing the community of the effects and dangers of water contaminants
In Australia, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have included in their guideline that copper should only be 1 mg/L of water. Anything above that can be considered toxic and immediate steps are taken to bring it down to a safe level.