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Our Bodies Need (Some) Copper – But Does Our Drinking Water?

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Continuous casting copper disc (99.95% pure), ...

A copper disc (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Copper is an essential nutrient for humans and many animals, but can there be too much of a good thing? Turns out, the answer is yes. And this is why you don’t want too much of it in your water supply.

Why Do We Need Copper?

Copper is an essential element required by the human body to maintain normal metabolic processes, especially of glucose and cholesterol. It is also required for infant growth, bone strength, red and white blood cell maturation and the development of the brain. Without copper, our immune system is more easily compromised. The recommended daily intake is 1.2mg a day per adult. Copper is found naturally in many foods, including nuts (Brazil nuts, cashews) seeds, (poppy and sunflower seeds), chickpeas, avocado, liver, lobster and oysters. It can also be found in trace amounts in drinking water.

How Much Copper Is Acceptable In Our Drinking Water?

The guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality tests to ensure that copper is less than 1mg per Litre of water to ensure that consumers do not ingest more than the necessary amount over time because copper can also be harmful more than the required amounts.

What Happens When People Get Too Much Copper?

In higher than required concentrations, copper toxicity can occur. This can affect a person’s bones, nail growth and cause thyroid problems among other, more serious things. Symptoms of copper poisoning can include fatigue, gastrointestinal distress including the vomiting of blood and long term effects like damage to the liver or kidneys. However, this is rare, as copper doesn’t occur in high enough concentrations in the food we regularly eat to cause this kind of poisoning. Sometimes higher than recommended amounts of copper can be ingested through the use of uncoated copper cookware over long periods of time or through excess copper in drinking water (this is much more likely when water is drawn from a private well), which is why copper is monitored so closely in our drinking water supplies.

How Can People Become Exposed To Excess Copper?

Copper pollution is something that occurs usually in the presence of mines. Copper and other chemicals can leach into the soil and cause damage to plants, animals and the water supply. Copper is also used in pipes, and like lead, can leach into your drinking water that way. But unlike lead, the amounts that this process usually causes to appear in drinking water are less than the recommended dosage so that the occurrence of copper poisoning is highly unlikely.

However, if you live near a mine (especially!), draw your water from a source that could be contaminated by mining activities, or take your water from a private well, and you’d like to be secure knowing that your water is safe, a home water filtration system can be beneficial. Reverse osmosis water filtration systems make use of RO membrane filtration to remove trace elements from your drinking water to make it safe and pure for your family. If you think a reverse osmosis water filtration system is right for your home, please visit our online store now, or contact us for more information.

If you’re at all concerned about the quality of your water, or you simply want to be certain, you should choose an Aquasafe Home Reverse Osmosis System. An Aquasafe Home Reverse Osmosis system will remove all contaminants from water, including THM’s and HAA’s, producing guaranteed safe water you can count on every time. And it’s only a few cents per liter! Shop online and save today.

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