Coptrol Environmental Safety
The three components of Coptrol are specifically exempted from the schedules of the *NHMRC Uniform Poisons Standard.*National Health and Medicine Research Council of Australia. Copper is a normal component of the human body. The total copper content of an average adult ranges from 100‑150 mg and a daily intake of about 2 mg is required.
|Acute ‑ Oral ingestion of relatively small doses of copper acetate or copper sulphate produces acute toxicity in humans, resulting in inflammation of the gastro‑intestinal tract, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. Browning in 1969 reported that in adult humans 65 to 130 mg of copper sulphate orally ingested are dangerous. Levels from 650 mg to 1,000 mg are highly toxic and possibly lethal.
Chronic ‑ Browning (1969) stated, ” It is debatable whether chronic copper poisoning, industrial or non-industrial, exists in human beings”.
Inhalation ‑ The evidence in relation to inhalation toxicity suggests that people regularly subjected to copper “dust” may suffer a non‑specific reaction to the inhaled dust as a foreign body in the lungs.
Coptrol, diluted 1:10 as indicated on the label, will result in a spray containing 10.7 g of copper per litre. For this reason, the use of a face shield is recommended when handling.
Browning (1969) also noted that copper is not widely recognised as a frequent industrial cause of dermatitis. Coptrol is mildly alkaline with a pH of about 9.6 and it can be readily removed from the skin by washing liberally with water. Nevertheless, the Coptrol label recommends the use of rubber gloves during handling.
In normal circumstances, use of Coptrol to treat stock water, dams or waterways will not present toxicity problems. On the contrary, copper deficiency in pastures grazed by sheep and cattle in large areas of NSW, Australia, has been a persistent problem for many years. Hungerford (1975) stated that animals grazing from pastures which contain less than 4 ppm of copper will certainly suffer from copper deficiency. He further suggested that the popular copper sulphate worm drench of earlier years may have masked the inherent copper deficiency over wide areas of pasture in NSW.