Can copper sulfate be a health hazard?

What are the biological effects of exceedingly high copper (II) sulfate concentration in the water supply?
Charles R. Vennes

You can find information about the toxicity of specific substances by searching for MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) on the Web. For example, a search for "copper(II) sulfate" on the Vermont SIRI MSDS database retrieved 40 entries. The first entry contained physical data and handling protocols for CuSO4, along with this:

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                            Health Hazard Data
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LD50-LC50 Mixture: LD50:(ORAL,RAT)300 MG/KG 
Route Of Entry - Inhalation: YES 
Route Of Entry - Skin: YES 
Route Of Entry - Ingestion: YES 
Health Haz Acute And Chronic: ACUTE: HARMFUL IF SWALLOWED, INHALED, OR
ABSORBED THRU SKIN. CAUSES SKIN & EYE IRRIT. MATL IS IRRITATING TO MUC
MEMB & UPPER RESP TRACT. EXPOSURE CAN CAUSE DAMAGE TO EYES. GI 
DISTURBANCES.
CHRONIC EFFECTS: LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS HAVE SHOWN MUTAGENIC EFFECTS.
TARGET ORGAN(S): LIVER, KIDNEYS, BLOOD. (EFTS OF OVEREXP)
Carcinogenicity - NTP: NO 
Carcinogenicity - IARC: NO 
Carcinogenicity - OSHA: NO 
Explanation Carcinogenicity: NOT RELEVANT
Signs/Symptoms Of Overexp: HLTH HAZ:CHRONIC COPPER POISONING IS 
TYPIFIED BY HEPATIC CIRRHOSIS, BRAIN DAMAGE & DEMYELINATION, KIDNEY 
DEFECTS, AND COPPER DEPOSITION IN CORNEA AS EXEMPLIFIED BY HUMANS 
W/ WILSON'S DISEASE.
IT HAS ALSO BEEN REPORTED THAT COPPER POISONING HAS LEAD TO HEMOLYTIC
ANEMIA & ACCELERATE ARTERIOSCEROSIS.
Med Cond Aggravated By Exp: NONE SPECIFIED BY MANUFACTURER.
Emergency/First Aid Proc: SKIN: IMMEDIATELY WASH WITH SOAP & COPIOUS
AMOUNTS OF WATER. EYES: IMMEDIATELY FLUSH WITH COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF WATER
FOR AT LEAST 15 MINUTES & SEEK MED ADVICE. REMOVE AND WASH CONTAMINATED
CLOTHING PROMPTLY. INHAL: REMOVE TO FRESH AIR. IF NOT BREATHING GIVE
WASH OUT MOUTH W/WATER PROVIDED PERSON IS CONSCIOUS. CALL A PHYSICIAN.

Author: Fred Senese senese@antoine.frostburg.edu



General Chemistry Online! Can copper sulfate be a health hazard?

Copyright © 1997-2010 by Fred Senese
Comments & questions to fsenese@frostburg.edu
Last Revised 08/17/15.URL: http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/environmental/faq/print-cuso4-toxicity.shtml