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Alumina Toxicology | Ammonia and Latex Toxicity | Antimony Oxide | Arsenic Oxide | Asbestos: A Difficult-to-Repace Material | Ball Clay | BARIUM and COMPOUNDS / Toxicology | Barium Carbonate | Bentonite Toxicity | Beryllium Monoxide Toxicology | Bismuth Trioxide Toxicology | Boron Compounds and Their Toxicity | Brown Stain | Cadmium Toxicity | Calcium Carbonate Toxicology | Carbon Monoxide Toxicity | Cesium Toxicology | Chromium Compounds Toxicology | Clay Toxicity | Cobalt Oxide and Carbonate | Cobalt Toxicology | Copper Compounds Toxicology | | Cristobalite Toxicity | Cryolite and Ceramics | Dealing With Dust in Ceramics | Diatomaceous Earth Toxicology | Dioxins in Clays | Epsom Salts | Eye Injuries Due to Radiation | Feldspar | Fighting Micro-Organisms in Ceramics | Fluorine Gas | Gallium Oxide Toxicology | Hafnium Oxide Toxicty | Hydrofluoric Acid Toxicity | Iron oxide and Hematite | Lead Chromate | Lead in Ceramic Glazes | Lead Toxicology | Lithium Carbonate Toxicity | Lithium Toxicology | Man-Made Vitreous Fibers (MMVF) Toxicology | Man-Made Vitreous Fibers Safety Update | Manganese and Parkinsons by Jane Watkins | Manganese in Clay Bodies | Manganese Inorganic Compounds Toxicology | Manganese Toxicity by Elke Blodgett | Manganese: Creativity and Illness by Dierdre O'Reilly | Molybdenum Compounds Toxicology | Nickel Compounds Toxicity | Niobium Oxide Toxicity | Occupational Dermatoses | Overview of Material Safety by Gavin Stairs | Paraffin Toxicology | Perlite Toxicity | Plant Ash Toxicity | Potassium Carbonate Toxicity | Pregnancy and Ceramics | Propane Toxicology | Quartz Toxicity | Quartz Toxicity on Clayart | Rare Earth Compounds Toxicity | Rubidium and Cesium Toxicology | Rutile Toxicology | Silicosis and Screening | Silver Compounds Toxicology | Sodium Azide Toxicology | Sodium Carbonate Toxicology | Sodium Silicate Powder Toxicology | Stannous Chloride Toxicity | Strontium Carbonate Toxicity Note | Sulfur Dioxide Toxicity | Talc Hazards Overview | Talc Toxicology | Thallium Oxide Toxicology | The Use of Barium in Clay Bodies | Thorium Dioxide Toxicity | Tin Inorganic Compounds | Titanium Dioxide Toxicology | Toxicological Assessment of Zeolites | Tungsten Compounds Toxicology | Understanding Acronyms on MSDS's | Uranium and Ceramics | Vanadium and Compounds Toxicology | Vermiculite | Zinc Compounds Toxicology | Zirconium Compounds Toxicity | Zirconium Encapsulated Stains Toxicity

Copper Oxide and Carbonate

With limited exposure copper is considered relatively safe to use. However when added to low lead solubility glazes copper causes the solubility of the lead to be greatly increased. Solubility of glazes of other types can also be increased by the presence of copper.

OSHA does not consider copper exposure in the workplace to be a significant problem. At worst, they state that copper is an irritant especially airborne.

Copper has a TLV (threshold limit value) of 1.0 milligrams per cubic meter of air breathed. By comparison iron oxide is considered a safe-to-use material at 5.0, kaolin is 2.0, barium carbonate is 0.5, quartz is 0.1-0.05.

Copper is not as toxic by ingestion as many of the other metals (it is not a heavy metal). The standard for water is 1.3 mg/L based more on its effects on taste than toxicity (cadmium is 0.005 mg/L).

Volatile copper given off during certain firing techniques can cause copper metal fume fever. If the exposure is limited, this is a temporary condition that goes away by itself.

People suffering from Wilson039;s Disease must be very careful of copper intake because their bodies cannot excrete it, thus it can build up to dangerous levels. Zinc and vitamin C cause the body to excrete copper and taking megadoses of these products could result in copper deficiency.

Copper has several roles in the body one of which is to keep the connective tissues intact. Copper plays an essential role in the production of elastin which is what keeps our skin soft and supple and wrinkle free. Estrogen increases the amount of copper your body can absorb. The US RDA for copper is 3mg (although figures vary quite a bit). For someone with depleted copper, a daily dosage of 10 mg for a period of one month is not considered unsafe. Copper deficiency can increase LDL cholesterol and decrease HDL. It also has an effect on glucose levels. It is believed that some 90 percent of Americans are copper deficient.

By Tony Hansen
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Related Information


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