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Health Risk of Copper In Drinking Water

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Health Risk of Copper In Drinking Water
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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 Body

Copper 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 Toxicity

Copper Toxicity can cause several unpleasant effects that depend on the period of exposure.

Short term

For 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 term

For 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,

  • Moodiness
  • Depression
  • Irritability

This is only to be expected as a harmonious presence of nutrients in the body is seen by experts as the best way to regulate emotions while the lack of which will lead to all kinds of emotional distress.

Copper In Water

So 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.

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Government Copper Regulation

Different Governments have different methods of addressing the concern of copper toxicity in the water supplies. However, most follow the same protocol:

  1. Putting down regulations on how much copper should be in the water
  2. Steps that should be taken in order to prevent the build-up of too much copper
  3. 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.

What You Can Do To Keep Your Water Clean

Just because there are regulations in place, this does not mean that you are safe. There are a few ways you can make sure that your drinking water is free of high levels of copper and since the safety of your family is at stake, why take a risk?

Testing

First, you can have your water tested if you suspect that your water is not safe. Certified laboratories can measure the level of copper that is present in your drinking water and recommend solutions. This is especially wise if there are signs that the plumbing is made of materials that are easily corroded.

Water Filter

You can also take steps to prevent the copper from ever contaminating your drinking water by placing water filters in the home. A certified water filter will give you peace of mind that you won’t be suffering from toxic levels of copper.

Replace piping

For more drastic measures, you can replace all of the pipes and water outlets in your home with ones that will not corrode rapidly and thus deposit copper into your water supply. This can be an expensive solution, not to mention the inconvenience.

Which ever method you choose, no price is too much when it comes to your health.

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