What is Copper Sulfate?
Although copper is a crucial mineral, present everywhere in the environment, including water and food, copper sulfate is an inorganic and toxic compound. It has few to no human uses, but it has quite a few environmental applications, which is why it is being used in a wide variety of products.
The problem with this compound is that it is extremely toxic, which is why it is primarily used in killing bacteria, but also plants, snails, and fungi. Its properties make it useful in agriculture and its versatility allows it to be included in a wide variety of other sections.
In this regard, copper sulfate, when mixed with ammonium carbonate, is currently used in horticulture and the compound itself is effective in both clearing the swimming pools, prevent and treat parasitic infections in aquarium fishes and to kill off the snails, especially in agriculture.
Also, it is being used to control the algae population, without harming the environment, because it only takes a low amount to do the job.
Copper Sulfate Benefits
Copper Sulfate has extremely limited human uses, especially due to its toxicity. As a general use, however, it is beneficial in treating phosphorus burns at skin level, but the medical supervision is absolutely required, due to the dangers that may arrive as a result of the uncontrolled use. Other than that, its applications are mainly environmental and they deal mostly with eradicating the pests, being used as both a pesticide and an herbicide.
For a large portion of the time, copper sulfate was even essential in reducing the impact of malaria, by significantly cutting down the mosquito population.
Copper Sulfate Side-effects
Copper sulfate acts as an irritant, which means that will affect the skin at contact, the eyes and the lungs in case it is inhaled. The symptoms include rash, inflammation, ulceration and redness. Curious though, it is only moderately toxic upon oral ingestion, especially since it automatically triggers vomiting when reaching inside the digestive tract.
However, provided that it is retained in the stomach mucus, the symptoms will be greatly increased and the results can be quite damaging. The first noticeable symptom will be the metallic taste in the mouth, followed by a chest burn, headache, nausea and vomiting and the personal signature, which is yellow skin coloration.
As a result of the poisoning, the individual may experience organ damage, including kidneys, liver and brain and the need for medical attention is urgent. Copper sulfate is also toxic to the environment, due to its high water solubility, but also because it resides mostly on the surface, where it can easily bind to organic matter.
Copper Sulfate Sources
The usual sources for copper sulfate are industrial pesticides, as well as a wide range of other products, mainly used in agriculture, both at industrial scale and for household use.
How much should you take?
Well, since it is a toxic mix, you should not take it at all. It is not made for human consumption and whenever being subjected to it, you should seek medical attention, because the symptoms can worsen at a moment’s notice.