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Classification and external resources
A Kayser-Fleischer ring, copper deposits found in the cornea, is an indication the body is not metabolizing copper properly.
Copper toxicity refers to the consequences of an excess of copper in the body. Copper toxicity can occur from eating acid foods cooked in uncoated copper cookware, or from exposure to excess copper in drinking water or other environmental sources. Contents * 1 Toxicity * 2 Symptoms and presentation * 3 EPA cancer data * 4 Treatment * 5 Cookware * 6 Non-sparking tools * 7 Drinking water * 8 Water tank connection * 9 Pathophysiology * 9.1 Indian childhood cirrhosis * 9.2 Wilson's disease * 9.3 Alzheimer’s disease * 10 Marine life * 11 Bacteria * 12 References
Copper in the blood exist in two forms: bound to ceruloplasmin (85–95%) and the rest "free" loosely bound to albumin and small molecules. Free copper causes toxicity, as it generates reactive oxygen species such as superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, and the hydroxyl radical. These damage proteins, lipids and DNA. Symptoms and presentation
Acute symptoms of copper poisoning by ingestion include vomiting, hematemesis (vomiting of blood), hypotension (low blood pressure), melena (black "tarry" feces), coma, jaundice (yellowish pigmentation of the skin), and gastrointestinal distress. Individuals with glucose-6-phosphate deficiency may be at increased risk of hematologic effects of copper. Hemolytic anemia resulting from the treatment of burns with copper compounds is infrequent. Chronic (long-term) effects of copper exposure can damage the liver and kidneys. Mammals have efficient mechanisms to regulate copper stores such that they are generally protected from excess dietary copper levels. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) in drinking water is 1.3 milligrams per liter. The MCL for copper is based on the expectation that a lifetime of consuming copper in water at this level is without adverse effect (gastrointestinal). The USEPA lists evidence that copper causes testicular cancer as "most adequate" according to the latest research at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a limit of 0.1 mg/m3 for copper fumes (vapor generated from heating copper) and 1 mg/m3 for copper dusts (fine metallic copper particles) and mists (aerosol of soluble copper) in workroom air during an eight-hour work shift, 40-hour work week. EPA cancer data
The EPA lists no evidence for human cancer incidence connected with copper, and lists animal evidence linking copper to cancer as "inadequate". Two studies in mice have shown no increased incidence of cancer. One of these used regular injections of copper compounds, including cupric oxide. One study of two strains of mice fed copper compounds found a varying increased incidence of reticulum cell sarcoma in males of one strain, but not the other (there was a slightly increased incidence in females of both strains). These results have not been repeated. Treatment
In cases of suspected copper poisoning, penicillamine is the drug of choice, and dimercaprol, a heavy metal chelating agent, is often administered. Vinegar is not recommended to be given, as it assists in solubilizing insoluble copper salts. The inflammatory symptoms are to be treated on general principles, as are the nervous ones. Cookware
When acidic foods are cooked in unlined copper cookware, or in lined cookware where the lining has worn through, toxic amounts of copper can leech into the foods being cooked. This effect is exacerbated if the copper has corroded, creating reactive salts. Actual cooking may not be required for copper to leach...
References: 1. ^ a b Brewer GJ. (2010). Copper toxicity in the general population. Clin Neurophysiol. 2010 Apr;121(4):459-60. doi:10.1016/j.clinph.2009.12.015 PMID 20071223
7. ^ EPA results for copper and cancer. Accessed March 11, 2011
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