General information

Copper sulphate poisoning: causes, symptoms, treatment, possible consequences


The use of copper sulphate is so diverse that its popularity does not fall. But it will be beneficial only if it is applied correctly, otherwise it will not be possible to avoid intoxication. Consider the cases in which this tool will harm a person.

What is the harm of copper sulfate for the human body?

Copper sulfate is a hygroscopic (moisture absorbing) powder of bright blue or blue crystals. The substance is toxic, 4th class of danger, is harmful if mucous membranes are affected and ingested.

Compliance with safety rules is appropriate and necessary here, as with careless use even death is possible. Extremely dangerous for fish. Anhydrous copper sulfate (CuSO4) when dissolved in water (H2O) forms crystals of copper vitriol (CuSO4 · 5H2O).

The action is based on the reaction of copper ions to the cells of the fungus or bacteria, causing irreversible changes in them.

Consequences of intoxication

With an incorrect diagnosis of symptoms of copper sulfate poisoning as with SARS (most often). Treatment is postponed, the disease becomes chronic. What is fraught with:

  • hair color modification
  • anomaly of the kidneys, liver, stomach,
  • failure of the nervous system,
  • gum disease,
  • transforming the color of the whites of the eyes and skin to greenish,
  • deformation of teeth, nasal septum, skin tissue.
The consequences are extremely serious and require long-term medical intervention.

Causes of poisoning

Poisoning is carried out by the appearance in the body of both solution and copper dust. The most incredible source may be copper-containing utensils. Dust resulting from grinding copper-containing surfaces also causes poisoning if the respiratory protection rules are not followed.

Anti-burn healing compresses while ignoring the norms of copper-containing components can lead to undesirable consequences. But the main causes of poisoning are unauthorized changes in the dosage of the drug, lack of protective equipment, complete or partial disregard for the conditions of storage and use.

Symptoms and signs of poisoning

The main symptoms of copper sulfate poisoning are:

  • if swallowed, vomiting occurs (bloody or blue), pain in the abdomen, retching, fatigue, cramps, muscle pain, metallic taste and rapid heartbeat,
  • Allergic rashes and irritation are permissible upon contact with skin.
  • inhalation may cause coughing, sneezing, headache, fever, redness of the whites of the eyes, malfunction of the respiratory tract.

First signs of intoxication may appear after 4 hours, and sometimes - two days after the interaction with the substance. Urgent medical advice and assistance is needed!

The degree of intoxication depends on the age, weight, the presence of other diseases in humans, susceptibility to certain toxins.

First Aid

Before the arrival of the doctor, the arrival of the ambulance is necessary to know the order of basic actions.

  • In case of ingestion through the mouth, wash the stomach, drink 1 tablespoon of activated carbon with a glass of water, take a laxative (sodium sulfate, magnesium) and a considerable amount of water.
  • In case of skin lesions, wash off the remains of vitriol under running water.
  • Inhalation of vapors to get into the fresh air, rinse the nasal passages and mouth thoroughly, take a diuretic agent and a large amount of water (at a temperature - febrifuge).

Poisoning: what to do

Medical reference books claim that copper sulphate in the amount of more than 0.6 g threatens with intense vomiting. A dose of more than 2 g leads to severe poisoning with a fatal outcome (in some cases). This refers more often to the casual, careless use of copper sulfate orally. Each of us is faced with the need to use this substance. The main thing is to adhere to the norms and rules of safety. Do not use copper sulphate in premises with food. Must be stored in tightly closed containers away from children.

With acute symptoms (vomiting, allergic reactions, fever), an ambulance call is inevitable. Only she will quickly deliver to the intensive care unit of the local hospital for examination by a toxicologist and resuscitator.

In case of mild poisoning (refusal from hospitalization), the chief specialist will be the district therapist (family doctor), who will issue a hospital, send him for tests, prescribe medication, and consult with a specialist.

Home treatment

Treatment at home is possible only with a weak poisoning with copper sulfate and consists in drinking abundantly, fresh air, following the recommendations of the therapist. If complications have arisen that have caused the disruption of the work of the internal organs, the specialist will treat these manifestations. Therapy should be carried out exclusively in a medical institution under the supervision of a doctor.

Safety regulations

The basics of safety are contained in the following rules:

  • before starting the preparation of the solution (or working with the substance), put on rubber gloves, fasten a gauze bandage or respirator, wear protective glasses, choose overalls with long sleeves,
  • during the work with the drug to exclude the likelihood of drops of the solution in the eyes and mucous membranes, it is forbidden to take water, food, you must stop smoking,
  • after treatment, ventilate the room, take a shower, rinse your mouth, nose, eyes with running water, go to fresh air.

Prevention with frequent work with the tool

In industrial workshops, copper sulphate poisoning is avoided by adhering to safety standards and rules. After work, you must take a shower and change clothes. At home, storage of the substance in a closed container is required, away from children, in a room without food, and well ventilated.

During the work to use gloves, points, a respirator, to observe safety rules. After work, carry out wet cleaning, change clothes, perform water treatments. Drink plenty of water. If you feel unwell, consult a doctor.

Inorganic copper sulphate is in demand and popular due to its low price and less danger to the environment than the latest development of toxic chemicals from organic components. However, in order not to have health problems, you must adhere to the rules of personal safety.

Areas of use

Copper has received widespread use in the modern world. In medicine, it is used as a component of physiotherapy balneoprocedures, the essence of which consists in the improvement of the body with the help of baths with electrolytes. In addition, copper is part of the drugs against fungus and antiseptics.

In industry, copper sulphate is used in the manufacture of paint and varnish products.

In agriculture, plants are treated with this substance to protect them from pests. It is also used in the manufacture of fertilizers.

Copper sulphate has found its use in the composition for removing fungus and rust from the surfaces of various materials.

A moderate intake of copper is beneficial for the body, as it has the following properties:

  • involved in the development of blood cells,
  • necessary for the normal synthesis of sex hormones,
  • strengthens the skin and bones
  • increases the body's resistance to viruses and bacteria,
  • together with vitamin C and iron is necessary for the synthesis of hemoglobin,
  • provides pigmentation of the skin and hair.

The daily need for adult copper is 2-2.5 mg. If this concentration is exceeded, symptoms of copper sulfate poisoning occur.

Types of poisoning

Poisoning can have acute and chronic course. Acute flow occurs when a single dose of a large dose of copper sulphate in the blood. Already with the ingress of 0.5 gram of substance, the first symptoms appear. A fatal outcome occurs if 8-25 g of a substance enters the body at a time.

Chronic poisoning occurs when the minimum dose of copper sulfate gets into the blood for a long time. In this case, the symptoms are not as pronounced as in acute poisoning. This is dangerous because a person may not seek medical help for a long time until serious consequences appear. About them will be discussed in the relevant section of the article.

Symptoms of acute poisoning

The first signs of copper sulfate poisoning appear several hours after the substance enters the blood. These symptoms occur:

  • nausea,
  • dry cough that does not go away
  • difficulty breathing
  • severe headaches
  • dizziness,
  • discomfort in the eyes: burning, stinging, discharge of a large number of tears,
  • taste of metal in the mouth,
  • painful joints and muscles
  • temperature rise.

When copper sulfate gets into the gastrointestinal tract, for example, due to the ingestion of a solution, the following manifestations are added inside:

  • vomiting with blood or blue;
  • increased gas formation in the intestines (flatulence),
  • muscle spasm of the internal organs, which leads to a sharp pain in the abdomen.

If there was a poisoning with large doses of the substance, the person may have epileptic seizures, the development of renal or hepatic insufficiency. This is an unfavorable prognostic sign. Often such severe poisoning ends lethal.

Symptoms of chronic poisoning

Chronic poisoning develops with prolonged exposure to the substance on the body. One of the options for such poisoning - when visiting the pool. Copper sulfate is used in mixtures to purify water. When reusable swimming man in the pool of copper particles are absorbed through the skin into the blood.

Symptoms of copper sulfate poisoning in the pool are as follows:

  • reddening of the skin, peeling of the skin, scabies, disturbance of the skin structure by the type of eczema or dermatitis,
  • changes in skin color and conjunctiva to yellow-green,
  • violation of the structure of the teeth, the appearance of scarlet bands on the gums,
  • violation of the structure of the gastric mucosa - gastritis,
  • damage to the kidneys and liver,
  • deterioration of the functioning of the central nervous system.

First aid

First aid to a person with copper sulphate poisoning, if he has inhaled or has taken the solution inside, should begin immediately. At emergence of characteristic signs it is necessary to call the ambulance.

The first step is to eliminate the effects of copper on the human body. If poisoning occurs through vapors of the substance, you should go to fresh air.

Before the arrival of the ambulance, it is recommended to wash the affected stomach. To do this, he is given to drink activated carbon with a large volume of water. The dose of coal is calculated on the basis of body weight: 1 tablet of medicine is taken for 10 kg of mass. To coal acted faster, it is better to crush the tablet or dissolve it in water.

Activated carbon can be replaced by another sorbent - "Polysorb", "Smektoy" and so on. You should also give the victim a diuretic and laxative. All these activities are aimed at the early elimination of poison from the body.

If there is a violation of the structure of the skin, you need to wash off the remnants of copper under running water. To do this, put the damaged area of ​​skin under the tap and hold for 10-15 minutes.

Specialized treatment

Further assistance to the victim is provided in the hospital. Treatment of copper sulphate poisoning is primarily aimed at neutralizing the poison. For this, the patient is given an antidote - "Unithiol". This drug is an antidote for poisoning with any salts of heavy metals.

An important step in therapy is forced diuresis. This method of treatment consists of taking diuretics ("furosemide") to increase the volume of urination, and therefore, accelerate the removal of the poison from the body.

Symptoms and treatment of copper sulfate poisoning have a direct relationship. Therapy, which is aimed at reducing the manifestations of the disease and improving the general condition of the patient, is called symptomatic. For these purposes, use such groups of drugs:

  • mucolytics - to liquefy sputum (Mukaltin, Atrovent),
  • expectorants - for better discharge of sputum ("Pertussin", "Ambroxol"),
  • antiemetic - with severe vomiting ("Zerukal", "Metoklopramid"),
  • antipyretic - at high temperature ("Paracetamol", "Ibuprofen").

In severe poisoning, when renal function is impaired, hemodialysis is used. The essence of this method of therapy is to purify the blood from the poison when it passes through a special apparatus - an artificial kidney.

Effects of poisoning

If you do not provide timely assistance to the victim, the poisoning becomes chronic and leaves irreversible changes in the body.

The most harmless, but unpleasant from an aesthetic side, consequence of poisoning with copper sulfate is the change in the color of the sclera of the eyes and skin to yellow-green. Also varies the shade of hair.

Bone and epithelial structures are deformed: the nasal septum is bent, the tubular bones soften (osteoporosis), the structure of the teeth changes, and the skin is destroyed.

Chronic renal or hepatic failure develops.

When taking the solution inside the lethal outcome may occur after hitting 2 g of copper sulfate.

Preventive measures

Copper sulphate poisoning is much easier to prevent than to cure. To do this, follow these rules:

  • store chemicals in safe places, protected from children,
  • when processing plants at the site use personal protective equipment: gloves, respirator, protective suit with long sleeves, special glasses,
  • use personal protective equipment at work when working with copper products,
  • every time after working with copper sulphate it is necessary to change clothes, take a shower, when using copper at home, do regular wet cleaning,
  • avoid the use of copper dishes for food storage.

Copper sulphate poisoning is a serious pathological condition that can be fatal. Therefore, it is important to recognize the signs of poisoning in time and seek specialized help. Only a qualified specialist will eliminate the symptoms of poisoning and completely rid the body of poison.

Common causes of poisoning

In order for a person to feel good, he needs to add to food a sufficient amount of products that are rich in such a specific trace element. These include:

  • potatoes,
  • buckwheat,
  • oats,
  • spinach,
  • offal like kidney and liver.

In this case, the processing of the cuprum is made promptly and does not cause the body to suffer, without problems replenishing the reserves necessary for normal life. This means that copper poisoning by eating the listed products is simply impossible.

A completely different story occurs in cases where copper enters the human body in some other way that does not provide for its isolation from the useful components of a rational menu. There are three main versions of the substance in the body that can cause severe intoxication if the maximum permissible dose is exceeded:

  • Oral. If copper dishes are used for cooking or its subsequent storage, it is unacceptable to use such food. Also, the solution or particles of copper dust can enter through the esophagus.
  • Inhalation. When inhaling dust containing copper particles, gradual intoxication occurs. This is possible while ignoring safety regulations in workshops where various metal surfaces that have copper additives are often polished.
  • Dermal. It often happens with self-medication. In some practices, mention is made of compresses based on copper salt solution as an aid in treating large areas of skin after burns.

Food that has been stored in copper for a long time turns into poison. It adversely affects the functioning of the kidneys, as well as the formation of urine. The person begins to suffer from anemia, which occurs on the background of the destruction of red blood cells.

In addition to the fact that copper poisoning is dangerous in itself, it also poses a threat to others if it is not correct to use toxic chemicals based on this substance. These include such popular tools as:

  • copper sulphate (copper sulphate),
  • Bordeaux mixture (blue vitriol + lime milk),
  • Burgundy liquid (blue vitriol + sodium carbonate).

If used improperly, such a person can cause serious harm to themselves and others, even to death.

This applies not only to accidental ingestion inside, which is typical of children or unwary adults who refuse to mark the same containers for storing different substances. More often, adults suffer from inhalation of copper-containing vapors. There are intoxications and hemodialysis.

No less toxic copper dust, which acts as an irritant to the mucous membranes of the respiratory and stomach.It enters the body in the absence of special personal safety equipment in the processing of various metal products based on copper. That is why in every job description rules are written regarding protective equipment for the respiratory organs and hands.

Such a metal that is not associated with proteins (like copper salts) belong to the group of toxic substances. It gradually accumulates in the liver and kidneys, slowly destroying them from the inside, which is characteristic of the chronic course of the disease.

Impact on the body

The effect on the body depends entirely on how exactly the poisoning element entered the body. Depending on this, the mucous membranes of the organs of the respiratory system, the digestive system or the skin will be the first to suffer.

After the toxin is absorbed into the bloodstream, it begins to affect red blood cells. When red blood cells are damaged, red blood cells are destroyed. After that, hemoglobin begins to enter the bloodstream, which quickly exceeds the recommended limits. Externally, this is manifested by a yellowish skin tone. In medical terminology, this process is called hemolysis.

No less susceptible to the negative effects of copper cells of the liver, nervous system and lungs. As a result, the patient can insert a diagnosis: renal failure.

Acute stage of intoxication with copper-containing agents

Traditionally, symptoms of intoxication are divided into several types, depending on how the substance got into the blood, as well as the degree of poisoning. Based on this, all signs can be divided into:

The first paragraph provides the characteristic signs of defeat by poison immediately after exposure to the body. Often this occurs by inhalation of hazardous dust or specific vapors. Doctors sometimes call this stage latent.

The main symptoms of this period are expressed in:

  • metallic sweet taste in the mouth,
  • dry mouth
  • irritation of the respiratory system
  • sore throat,
  • profuse lacrimation,
  • redness of the eyes with the subsequent development of conjunctivitis,
  • dry cough.

The group of secondary symptoms include all those symptoms that are inherent in more severe intoxication. They make themselves felt approximately 4-48 hours after the ingestion of a maximum dose of copper-containing substances in the body. Signs of a secondary category are expressed by the following symptoms:

  • headache and / or dizziness,
  • weakness in limbs
  • chills at elevated body temperature up to 39 degrees,
  • excessive sweating
  • abdominal pain,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting with outgoing blue-green vomit, which is characteristic of copper sulphate poisoning,
  • diarrhea,
  • difficulty making urine
  • disruption of the liver,
  • jaundice.

Some non-specialists immediately confuse such serious intoxication with the relatively simple course of adenoviral disease. That is why in no case can not self-medicate.

Chronic disease

If a person often has to deal with his duty in pure form or with its dangerous compounds, then experts recommend not to ignore the observance of prescribed safety standards. This metal begins to quickly accumulate in various organs, which soon leads to negative consequences.

For the first time this kind of poisoning was recorded back in 1969. Doctors noticed that people who sprayed grapes with traditional toxic chemicals, often began to suffer from diseases associated with the lungs.

Workers were also prone to cirrhosis of the liver. All this prompted scientists to study the effect of copper on the body and confirmed the initial conjectures. Even in small doses, such a poison for pests of grapes could turn into poison for a person if spraying was improperly performed.

One of the most pronounced signs of copper accumulation was staining of the eye cornea in a yellowish-brown or golden color. A little later, the skin of the victim receives a similar shade, and the patient himself begins to experience problems with speech disorders and coordination of movements. The consequences are expressed in the trembling of the hands, the protein content in the urine and uremia.

In severe cases, the patient may develop Wilson-Konovalov disease, belonging to the group of hereditary. Its manifestation is that the liver can no longer remove copper into the blood and bile. Instead, the metal accumulates in the tissues of the organ itself. If time does not begin narrowly targeted treatment, then this may trigger the beginning of the development of cirrhosis.

Copper sulfate

In life, intoxications are much more common, caused by copper itself, and its various compounds. Copper sulphate belongs to the last camp. At the same time, experts are asked not to confuse poisoning with iron sulfate with a copper counterpart, since they still have different symptoms.

An aqueous solution of copper salts of sulfuric acid acts as a folk remedy No. 1 for the fight against fungal infections. In some cases, farmers are adopting it as an antiseptic on their own household plots, as well as on extensive agricultural lands.

Also, the tool can be found in:

  • creating colors
  • processing of wood structures
  • maintenance of plastered surfaces as a fungicide.

When intoxicating this remedy when spraying grapes at home, the symptoms of poisoning are identical to those of all copper-containing compounds.

Emergency help

Depending on how the toxic substance got into the body, further assistance to the affected person will depend. But in any case, you must immediately call the ambulance team. While doctors will get to the scene, the poisoned should be given first aid to alleviate the current state. The simplest first aid measures can help save a person’s life and stay healthy. They include:

  • challenge vomiting up to clean water instead of vomit, which will be possible if the patient is consciously allowed to drink plenty of boiled warm water before starting the procedure.
  • sorbent acceptance. The plate of activated carbon can be found in any first-aid kit. Use the tablets strictly according to the instructions: 10 kg of weight = 1 tablet.
  • taking a saline-type laxative in order to promptly clean the digestive tract (by agreement with the physician).
  • drink plenty of water (you can add egg white). Milk and other fat-containing beverages, as well as oil solutions and sour drinks should be completely eliminated so as not to aggravate the clinical picture.
  • Applying a warm heater to the abdomen. But this is only if a person is constantly tormented by cramps in this area.

Next, the patient is sent to the hospital, where an emergency procedure is prescribed an antidote, antiemetic medication and anesthetic. And in the future, symptomatic therapy is carried out under strict medical supervision until full recovery.

How does copper poisoning occur?

Copper poisoning is possible both in production and in living conditions. Ways of getting it into the body are different: ingestion, inhalation of copper-containing vapors, aerosols or copper dust.

The most common causes of poisoning include:

  • grinding and polishing of copper products
  • work in a foundry with copper and zinc alloys (foundry or copper foundry fever),
  • seed dressing (copper fever),
  • constant professional contact with the metal (in the production of glass and enamels, for the production of paints, in electroforming, the textile industry) in violation of the production technology, non-compliance with safety measures, disregard of personal protective equipment,
  • treatment of plants with Bordeaux mixture, copper sulphate,
  • use of copper cookware
  • the use of products tinted copper salts,
  • the use of copper equipment in the production and storage of food,
  • the accidental or erroneous use of fungicidal liquids, including children during the game,
  • intentional use of copper-containing chemicals for suicidal purposes.

Copper fever

When inhalation of fine dust develops copper fever. After several hours (less often - up to 2 days) of the latent period, the victim complains:

  • severe weakness, loss of appetite, drowsiness,
  • terrific chills
  • increase in body temperature to 38.5-39 ° C and higher
  • copious sweat after reducing the temperature
  • tickling, dryness, burning in the nasopharynx,
  • discomfort when swallowing,
  • hoarseness,
  • nausea, vomiting,
  • nosebleeds,
  • sharp pain in the umbilical region,
  • bloating.

Foundry fever

Inhalation of vapors and aerosols of copper is also possible acute poisoning in the form of foundry fever:

  • general weakness, feeling of weakness, lack of appetite,
  • burning and soreness in the nasopharynx,
  • dry barking cough
  • headache, muscle and joint pain,
  • the appearance of true fever - a feeling of cold is replaced by a sharp chill, which lasts for several hours,
  • fever is permitted by pouring sweat, the temperature critically drops to normal.

As a rule, after 2-3 days from the onset of the disease, the symptoms of the foundry and copper-fever fevers stop themselves, and there is an improvement in health.

Intoxication by ingestion

When ingested, copper and its compounds provoke inflammation of the gastrointestinal organs in combination with symptoms of general acute intoxication:

  • decreased performance, weakness,
  • lack of appetite,
  • increase in body temperature to febrile numbers,
  • intense chill,
  • increased salivation,
  • intense cramping in the umbilical region,
  • nausea, vomiting, vomit can be colored blue, blue-green,
  • sweet metallic taste and dry mouth
  • loose stools
  • icteric staining of the skin, mucous membranes and sclera,
  • the appearance of blood in the urine.

In the case of formation of ulcers on the gastric mucosa, blood may appear in vomit or in the stool.

Chronic intoxication

In chronic poisoning with metal and its compounds, there are no specific clinical manifestations. Victims are worried about general weakness, fatigue, dizziness, various digestive disorders, yellowness of the skin and mucous membranes, low blood pressure, etc. Symptoms develop gradually over a long time.

Characteristic is the appearance of a yellowish-green or greenish-brown staining on the periphery of the cornea, the so-called Kaiser-Fleischer rings, which are deposits of copper. In addition to the cornea, during chronic intoxication, copper accumulates in the lungs, liver, and kidneys, causing their irreversible changes.

When is medical care required?

In case of inhalation or oral poisoning with metal, its compounds, vapors, aerosols or dust, it is imperative to seek medical help.

The treatment is aimed at maintaining vital functions, early removal of the poison from the body, elimination of the symptoms of the disease and rehabilitation of the affected organs.

Possible consequences

Copper poisoning can lead to serious complications:

  • acute renal, liver failure,
  • necrotizing nephrosis,
  • cirrhosis of the liver,
  • neurological disorders (convulsions, parkinsonism, impaired neuromuscular conduction, epileptiform seizures),
  • hemolytic anemia,
  • depressive states
  • coma, death.

Why copper poisoning is deadly to humans?

Copper is considered to be one of the metals known from ancient times.

Despite the fact that many are familiar with this element of the periodic system (under the abbreviation Cu) only because of the frequent references to copper poisoning, it is capable of benefiting in the minimum allowable amounts.

Metal is one of the fundamental micronutrients that are necessary for the normal functioning of the human body.

The reason lies in the fact that it acts as a constituent element in tissue respiration as an oxidative enzyme.

That is why doctors insist that people do not refuse from Cu in the daily diet, replenishing its reserves with enviable regularity. At the same time, it is prohibited to violate the maximum permissible norms, since an overabundance of a substance can lead to serious functional malfunctions in the body.

Signs and symptoms of copper poisoning

The first symptoms of poisoning appear as early as 4 hours after the ingestion of copper in the body. Moreover, symptoms largely depend on how the poison was in the blood. If he got along with food, then signs of intoxication will be:

  • severe pain in the stomach, burning in the esophagus, diarrhea and vomiting, excessive salivation,
  • feeling weak in the body, dizzy,
  • sharp drop in pressure
  • changes in skin color,
  • breathing problems.

If the poison is ingested through inhalation, then tearing and sneezing is added to the above symptoms. The patient's body temperature rises sharply, sometimes reaching 39 degrees. An allergic rash appears on the body, muscles hurt.

Poisoning with a copper toxic substance causes significant harm to health, life and general condition of the body.

This substance is widely used in various fields, such as crop production, construction, medicine, production of coloring materials.

Copper sulphate has moderate toxicity and is considered a low-hazard substance. When it is swallowed in an amount from half a gram as pure salt or solution, symptoms of poisoning are noticeable. When inhaled, the acute toxic dose is 11 mg per kg of body weight.

Main symptoms

The first signs of copper salt poisoning manifest themselves after 4–48 hours from the moment they are in the human body:

  • mucous becomes irritated
  • tongue and lips go numb,
  • breathing is impaired,
  • there is a metallic taste in the mouth, nausea,
  • dizziness,
  • muscle and headache
  • prostration,
  • bloating
  • saliva is intensely secreted
  • vomiting with a blue tint
  • loose stools.

The circulatory system responds to elevated copper levels with rapid heartbeat and low blood pressure.

In addition to these manifestations of intoxication, red blood cells begin to break down, acute renal and hepatic failure develops.

When a poison enters the body, if a person has inhaled it, sneezing with tearing is added. The temperature rises to 39 ° C with an allergic rash and muscle pain.

Copper and its compounds are distinguished by pronounced hepato-nephrotoxicity. Their excess in the body adversely affects, above all, the work of the kidneys and liver. In addition, the poisoning of this trace element leads to severe systemic disorders.

Separately, it is worth highlighting copper sulfate poisoning: this substance has a strong irritant effect on the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, and also affects the biochemical composition of the blood. Symptoms of poisoning will depend on the way in which copper has entered the body.

Inhalation poisoning

Copper poisoning through the inhalation of the smallest particles of a trace element appears so-called. foundry fever:

  • chills
  • dry cough
  • headache
  • weakness
  • shortness of breath
  • eye and nasopharyngeal irritation (tearing, sneezing),
  • persistent fever.

Sometimes there are allergic reactions - the appearance of itching and red skin rash.

Intake of copper compounds inside

List of main signs of copper poisoning:

  • dry, debilitating cough,
  • chills,
  • dyspnea,
  • nausea,
  • severe headaches, dizziness,
  • pain, burning eyes, increased tearing,
  • the appearance of an unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth,
  • pain and aching muscles and joints.

The severity of symptoms of acute copper poisoning varies depending on the dose and the way the metal enters the body.

Scope of application

Copper sulfate is one of the most important copper salts. In medicine, it is used as a component of electrolytic baths. In the paint industry - used for the production of mineral paints.

The widest branch of application of this substance is plant growing. Here it is used as an antiseptic, a component of fertilizers, as well as an antifungal agent.

The substance has found its application in the points dealing with the purchase of nonferrous metals. The solution, made of copper sulfate, serves as a litmus for detecting magnesium, manganese and zinc in the stainless steel and aluminum alloys.

general information

Copper is present in the composition of the most common metal alloys. In medical practice, copper sulphate is used as an important part of electrolytic baths, in the industrial field it is used for the manufacture of paints and varnishes.

This chemical component has pronounced astringent, bactericidal and disinfectant properties. Most often, copper sulfate is used in agriculture for the treatment and protection of plants from various pests.

Included in the fertilizer, antiseptic and antifungal drugs. Нашел свое применение и в других областях, например, для удаления пятен и следов ржавчины, грибка с поверхности деревянных строительных конструкций.

The use of products rich in copper is necessary for the normal, full-fledged process of blood formation. But including an excessive amount of copper in the diet, there is a danger that copper sulfate intoxication will be diagnosed.

Where is used copper sulphate

Copper sulfate reveals a wide range of applications. Traditional medicine uses salt in physiotherapy. Balneotherapy uses electrolytes for baths with a copper content. There are many medications in which copper is present - mainly antiseptic and antifungal.

Copper sulphate participates in the industrial production of paints and varnishes. When growing crops struggle with Bordeaux pests fluid. In the composition of the fertilizer substance is represented in a small amount. They can perfectly remove fungus and rust from metal surfaces.

Copper composition is required and the human body. A small amount of substance for a person is necessary for important processes:

  • Takes part in the formation of blood cells.
  • Sex hormones are synthesized in a normal and effective manner.
  • The structure of the bone skeleton becomes strong.
  • The skin becomes elastic and resilient.
  • The body is more resistant to viral and bacterial infections.
  • The mixture with vitamin C and iron enzyme contributes to the formation of hemoglobin.
  • Participates in the formation of the color of the skin and hair.

Per day, an adult needs to receive 2.5 mg. Excessive concentration provokes intoxication of the body.

Types of intoxication

Poisoning is acute and chronic.

A single dose increase for ingestion of copper leads to acute intoxication. 0.5 g of substance provokes the first signs of overdose. Consumption in an amount of 8 to 25 g can lead to death.

Prolonged exposure to toxic substances on the body causes a chronic form of poisoning. Symptoms do not appear immediately, so a person has not been aware of an overdose for a long time. The victim turns to the clinic already in serious condition, this leads to negative consequences.

In the international classification of diseases (ICD-10), copper sulfate poisoning was introduced under the code T56.

Signs of acute intoxication

Manifestation in a few hours. Symptoms of copper sulfate poisoning:

  • There is a strong nausea attack,
  • Dry, rending throat cough does not stop,
  • Breathing becomes difficult
  • Sharp headache accompanied by dizziness,
  • Discomfort in the eyes - severe pain, burning and heavy tearing,
  • There is a metallic taste in the mouth,
  • There are joint and muscle pain,
  • Heat.

The use of copper sulfate with food provokes the appearance of emetic urge with bleeding and an admixture of blue hues. There may be swelling of the intestines and muscle spasms of the internal organs, accompanied by pain.

The maximum dose of a substance causes a symptom of epilepsy, a malfunction of the kidneys and liver. Cases of such poisoning usually end in death.

Symptoms of chronic intoxication

Prolonged admission or inhalation of vitriol vapors cause chronic overdose. Such poisoning can occur in the pool - the water is purified with a special compound containing copper. Frequent visits to the pool provoke damage to the body in children and adults. The poison gets through the skin.

Signs of chronic overdose:

  • The skin becomes red and flaky.
  • Scabies can begin.
  • The skin is covered with rashes, resembling eczema.
  • The color of the skin sometimes becomes yellow-green.
  • The teeth begin to deteriorate sharply, a bright red streak appears on the gums.
  • Gastric mucosa is affected - gastritis may develop.
  • The activity of the kidney and liver tissue is impaired.
  • The inhibitory effect on the central nervous system cells.

The most dangerous type of poisoning is ingestion and inhalation of vapors. A small amount of toxin will show weak signs, the body will not suffer much. With chronic damage to the body, some people can live a long life. Copper sulfate can cause the development of Wilson-Konovalov disease - a very serious disease. If you do not treat the child - death occurs before the age of 18.

How can I get poisoned with blue vitriol?

Copper sulfate is a fairly common substance used in many areas of industry, agriculture, and even for domestic needs. The probability of poisoning with this compound is correlated with the possible use and degree of contact of the copper sulfate derivative and the human body:

  • Metallurgy. Copper sulfate is used for electroplating processes, as well as nickel plating,
  • Chemical industry. The substance is essential for obtaining a huge range of finished raw materials and complex chemical compounds. Most often it can be found in mineral paints, as one of the simplest components,
  • Livestock. Copper sulphate is still used as a component of the feed,
  • Food industry. The substance is registered as preservative E519,
  • Horticulture and Agriculture. Used as a mineral additive to the soil, for treating the bark of trees against pests,
  • Construction sphere. Copper sulphate removes rust stains and mold, traces of leaks. The wood he treated gets fireproof properties and decays very slowly,
  • The medicine. The substance is a powerful antiseptic with astringent and cauterizing properties, it can be used as a basic agent when washing the stomach in cases of acute poisoning with white phosphorus (a light 0.1% solution is used).

The harm of copper sulfate and its effect on the human body

The potential danger of vitriol significantly depends on its concentration, physical form (liquid, crystals, etc.), as well as the method of penetration into the body.

Despite the fact that the substance belongs to the 4th class of danger (low level), if it is used incorrectly, certain harm to the body can be caused. Direct contact with intact skin does not usually have a significant effect - copper sulfate does not possess strong penetration, therefore it is harmless in this context.

More dangerous substance inhalation route - so, there are known cases of intoxication in violation of safety (lack of a good respirator) during the processing of metal surfaces, galvanization, grinding and other events, where dust and vapors are formed in large quantities, containing a high concentration of copper compounds, including vitriol.

The most dangerous for human health is the oral route of penetration of copper sulfate into the body. We are talking about both the direct use of the substance in the form of a solution or solid crystals, and indirectly (through poor-quality dishes, poorly washed plant products, previously treated with vitriol, and so on).

Primary symptoms of poisoning can occur when a single oral use of more than 500 milligrams of the substance (in pure form), or 11 milligrams (in absolute equivalent) per kilogram of body weight when inhaled particles of copper sulfate. The potentially life-threatening dose varies widely - from 8 to 50 grams one-time, depending on the individual characteristics of the organism, the predominant type of compound, the presence of side factors and other circumstances.

Symptoms of copper sulfate poisoning

Symptoms of vitriol poisoning can be both acute and chronic.

Manifestations of chronic intoxication:

  • Complex disorders of the liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract,
  • Pathology of the central nervous system with the development of neurological symptoms and mental disorders,
  • Discoloration of the skin, hair, mucous membranes and sclera of the eyes - they acquire a greenish tint,
  • Partial destruction of teeth, loss of hair, pathological transformations of the nasal septum, redness of the gums.

Acute manifestations with predominantly respiratory route of substance penetration:

  • Inflammation of the eyes, throat, sneezing, severe cough, excessive tearing,
  • Severe headache, sweating, general weakness of the whole organism and muscular structures in particular,
  • Increase in body temperature to 39-40 degrees
  • Systemic allergic reactions
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Short-term loss of consciousness. In severe cases - coma and convulsions.

Acute symptoms from the oral route of penetration of copper sulfate into the body:

  • Acute dyspeptic disorders - nausea, pain and burning in the abdomen, flatulence, vomiting with blood (sometimes pale blue), brown diarrhea,
  • Increased salivation, a strong taste of metal or sweets in the mouth,

  • Cardiovascular manifestations. This is usually tachycardia, increased blood pressure,
  • Neurological manifestations in severe intoxication - from loss of consciousness and disorientation in space to seizures, disappearance of reflexes and coma.

Consequences and complications

Despite the fact that copper sulfate is classified as a low hazard class, when a substance enters the body (especially its high concentrations), not only classic signs of poisoning can develop, but also various complications, including long-term ones.

Potential consequences include:

  • Persistent neurological and mental pathologies. Formed in complex CNS lesions. May manifest convulsions, seizures, parkinsonism, the development of delirium, depression, psychosis, irreversible changes in the psycho-emotional reactions of a person,
  • Anemiamainly hemolytic spectrum
  • Systemic damage to the kidneys and liver with the formation of nephrosis, cirrhosis, the rapid development of necrotic processes and partial or complete failure of the organs (renal and hepatic failure in the decompensation stage),
  • Allergic and autoimmune reactions,
  • Bronchopulmonary diseases
  • Cardiovascular disorders,
  • Pathological changes in the structure of the skin, hair, nails, teeth, mucous membranes,
  • Fatal outcome with prolonged failure to provide qualified medical care,
  • Other diseases, pathologies, syndromes and negative states.

Victor Sistemov - 1Travmpunkt site expert

Copper poisoning treatment

Doctors for the treatment of poisoning with copper salts offer a scheme:

  • introduce an antidote
  • administer penicillamine, as well as anesthetic, antiemetic, antimicrobial, expectorant, antipyretic,
  • hemodialysis if necessary
  • in severe hemolysis, administer droppers using sodium bicarbonate,
  • signs of foundry fever withdrawn by euphyllin.

You cannot cure the patient yourself. This is done by the doctor in the hospital.

Treatment of copper sulfate poisoning is carried out in a hospital. The doctor examines the patient, after which he prescribes hemodialysis, during which the antidote, Unithiol, is administered.

The most important stage of treatment is considered forced diuresis, involving the introduction of drugs with a diuretic effect. At the same time, sodium thiosulfate is administered and symptomatic treatment is carried out, suggesting the rapid elimination of signs of poisoning.

With the development of the so-called copper fever, treatment with Euphyllin is carried out. If necessary, they can additionally prescribe antipyretic, analgesic, antiemetic, expectorant, antimicrobial drugs.


The use of copper sulphate is so diverse that its popularity does not fall. But it will be beneficial only if it is applied correctly, otherwise it will not be possible to avoid intoxication. Consider the cases in which this tool will harm a person.

What is the harm of copper sulfate for the human body?

Copper sulfate is a hygroscopic (moisture absorbing) powder of bright blue or blue crystals. The substance is toxic, 4th class of danger, is harmful if mucous membranes are affected and ingested.

Compliance with safety rules is appropriate and necessary here, as with careless use even a lethal outcome is possible. Extremely dangerous for fish.

Anhydrous copper sulfate (CuSO4), when dissolved in water (h3O), forms crystals of copper sulfate (CuSO4 · 5h3O). Find out how and what used copper sulphate and Bordeaux mixture.

In scientific articles, these crystals are called blue pentahydrate. The reaction is accompanied by a thermal effect.

Copper sulfate is used as an antiseptic, copper-sulfur fertilizer, a fungicide, a component of mineral paints and electrolytic baths, a drug in veterinary medicine and medicine.

The action is based on the reaction of copper ions to the cells of the fungus or bacteria, causing irreversible changes in them.

Consequences of intoxication

With an incorrect diagnosis of symptoms of copper sulfate poisoning as with SARS (most often). Treatment is postponed, the disease becomes chronic. What is fraught with:

  • hair color modification
  • anomaly of the kidneys, liver, stomach,
  • failure of the nervous system,
  • gum disease,
  • transforming the color of the whites of the eyes and skin to greenish,
  • deformation of teeth, nasal septum, skin tissue.

The consequences are extremely serious and require long-term medical intervention. Learn how fungicides are used - Scor, Quadrice, Abiga-Peak, Brunka, Ordan, Thanos, Switch, Antracol, Acrobat TOP, Albit, Glyocladin, Horus, DNOC, Kuproksat, Fitosporin, Azofos.

Therapeutic methods

Copper poisoning requires immediate hospitalization. In the hospital, the patient is selected the appropriate treatment:

  1. Wash the stomach with a probe. At the beginning and at the end of the manipulations, a solution of sodium dimercaptopropanesulfonate or potassium hexacyanoferrate (yellow blood salt) is injected into the affected person. This substance binds copper molecules, helping to speed up the process of their elimination from the body.
  2. Conduct antidote therapy. As an antidote, Unitol can be used - a universal antidote for injecting. Dimercaprol is also used: 10 ml one-time, and then 5 ml at intervals of 3 hours, for 2 to 3 days. In addition, sodium thiosulfate or penicillamine can be used.
  3. Assign sorbents for the absorption and removal of trace element trace. Conduct forced diuresis.
  4. Restore electrolyte balance, disturbed by diarrhea and vomiting. To do this, water-salt solutions and glucose are administered to the patient.

Symptomatic therapy is selected taking into account the condition of the victim. With intense pain, prescribe morphine or atropine. Vomiting is stopped using aminazina, chlorpromazine. If hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells) is observed, the patient is given injections of sodium bicarbonate and vitamins.

Inhalation poisoning is treated in the same way. The symptoms of foundry fever, characteristic of this type of intoxication, are stopped by antitussive and expectorant drugs, acetylsalicylic acid and aminophylline.

After first aid, the patient is sent to the hospital. Treatment of poisoning depends on the type of disease. In acute intoxication, drugs that remove the poison from the body are prescribed (for example, Carbofer, Enterosgel, etc.). It is also carried out gastric lavage, diuretic drugs are prescribed.

When copper enters through the nose, bronchodilators and expectorant are prescribed to the patient. In chronic intoxication, the patient must adhere to a special diet, excluding products with a high content of Cu.

Primary therapy includes a number of procedures listed below:

  • The introduction of the patient antidote (unithiol) in the form of intramuscular injection. The course of treatment is 10 days, and then two weeks later it is repeated again.
  • Injections of antiemetic drugs are administered (intravenously), for example, aminazine.
  • If hemolysis is observed (yellowing of skin areas), droppers based on sodium bicarbonate are administered.
  • To remove all toxins from the blood, the doctor prescribes hemodialysis.
  • To improve the immunity of the patient prescribed vitamin complexes.

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If, due to poisoning, the patient has complications that led to the disruption of the work of some internal organs, the doctor prescribes treatment of these pathologies. Therapy is carried out exclusively in medical conditions under the guidance of a doctor.

When first aid was given to the victim, further therapy will be performed in the hospital setting by professional doctors.

Treatment includes:

  1. Using a universal antidote - Unithiola. It is administered intramuscularly every 3 hours.
  2. To prevent vomiting, intravenous aminazine is prescribed.
  3. Morphine or Atropine is administered to relieve pain.
  4. Hemolysis involves sodium bicarbonate. It is administered intravenously in the form of a dropper.
  5. To eliminate the symptoms of fever, it is necessary to use intravenous administration of the solution of Euphilin.
  6. Hemodialysis will help remove toxins.
  7. Acceptance of antibacterial drugs.
  8. Therapy of complications - impaired renal, cardiac and respiratory systems.

Copper intoxication is a fairly widespread phenomenon, because this product is skillfully applied not only in industry, but also in everyday life.The main reason for poisoning is non-compliance with personal protection rules. Therefore, before doing any work related to copper, it is necessary to protect the skin, respiratory tract and eyes.

Features and scope of copper

Copper is an indispensable nutrient trace element that performs a number of important functions in the human body:

  • participates in the process of iron metabolism and hemoglobin formation,
  • necessary for the absorption of proteins and carbohydrates
  • participates in the maturation of blood elements
  • contributes to the proper functioning of insulin:
  • involved in the synthesis of elastin and collagen.

The daily requirement of copper for the body is 2-3 mg. In no case can it be exceeded! This will lead to dire consequences.

In industry and the economy uses 3 types of copper:

  • copper sulphate - copper sulphate,
  • Bordeaux mixture - a mixture of copper sulphate and lime milk,
  • burgundy liquid - a mixture of copper sulfate with sodium carbonate.

People widely use copper sulphate and Bordeaux mixture in garden plots to protect wood, crops, and mold control. When mistreated with such a copper mixture, poisoning occurs.

Preventive measures

  1. Store chemicals in a safe place for children.
  2. For the storage of food should not use items made of copper.
  3. When working on the site it is necessary to use special protective gloves, respirator and suit.
  4. If a person has to work in a copper-related industry, you must carefully monitor the implementation of personal safety rules.

Copper sulphate poisoning is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. A timely visit to the doctor will help eliminate the symptoms of intoxication and cleanse the body of poison, to avoid serious consequences.

In order to avoid the adverse effects of copper, you should know some rules.