AN OVERVIEW OF COPPER TOXICITY RELEVANCE TO PUBLIC HEALTH
*Dr. Jagdish Kumar Anant, Dr. S. R. Inchulkar and Dr. Sangeeta Bhagat
Copper is an essential trace minerals that is vitally important for physical and mental health. Generally copper is not poisonous in its metallic state but some of its salts are powerful inhibitors of endogenous enzymes which present in our body. The poisonous compound of copper are CuSO4 (blue vitriol, blue stone), copper carbonate and copper sub-acetate (verdigris or zangal). Incidence of copper toxicity is very common nowadays. Inhalation, consumption of food and water, and dermal contact with air, water, and soil that contains copper were some exposure medium for copper toxicity. After consumption, copper first start depositing in liver there by disable the liver to detoxify elevated copper level in the body thus adversely affects nervous system, reproductive system, adrenal function, connective tissue, learning ability in new born baby, etc. If large amount taken at once, it will cause severe vomiting, abdominal pain, and purging afterwards produces headache, and in fatal cases, convulsions or paralysis may occur, which result in death. Chronic poisoning may developed through ingesting small amounts of copper daily, as in cooked or pickled articles, for a length of time. This review article provides an overview of copper toxicity: acute and chronic poisoning, general symptoms, mode of administration, medico-legal and forensic aspects, possible detection methods and treatment, etc.
Keywords: Copper poisoning, Heavy metal toxicity, Chronic poisoning, Copper sulphate, Medicolegal aspects, etc.
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