Hazards of Copper Sulfate

Copper sulfate has many industrial applications.
••• glass beakers image by Mark Aplet from Fotolia.com

Copper sulfate is an ionic compound composed of copper, sulfur, and oxygen. It is a widely used, very versatile molecule. The fiber industry uses it for creating synthetic fibers. In the metal industry copper sulfate is used in copper refining. It is also utilized in the mining industry, as well as in the printing and paint making industries.

Reactivity Hazards

Copper sulfate may burn, but it will not ignite. There is no concern of it exploding, and if extinguishing is needed, dry carbon dioxide is the method of choice. Copper sulfate is stable at normal temperatures. When mixed with an acid, copper sulfate will dissolve; however, no products formed will be hazardous.

Health Hazards

Some people may exhibit a sensitivity to copper if copper sulfate makes contact with their skin. Copper sulfate is a severe eye irritant and can cause substantial damage to the eyes. If inhaled, the dust can cause respiratory irritation. Copper sulfate should not be ingested. Doing so will cause serious diarrhea and vomiting. Copper sulfate is not a known carcinogen.

Environmental Hazards

Copper sulfate is toxic to fish and plants, so it is important to control spills and leaks. Copper sulfate is most easily contained when dry, but liquid spills can be pumped into waste containers and disposed of. Copper sulfate containers should not be reused, and all materials should be disposed of according to local, state, and federal legislation.

Related Articles

Facts About Calcium Chloride
Signs of a Chemical Reaction With Steel Wool and Peroxide
Physical and Chemical Properties for the Element Aluminum
How to Make Sodium Nitrate
Alodine Vs. Anodizing
Copper Sulfate Alternatives
Uses of PVC Plastic
Uses for Gypsum Powder
The Effects of Oxidation on Copper
What Is Sulfate?
Physical Properties of Urea
Alternative Solvents to Benzene
What Is Urethane Used For?
Why Is Smog Bad?
What Is Zinc Powder?
Effects of Chlorine Inhalation
Types of Metals That Attract Magnets
Transition Metals & Their Uses
Why Does Copper Change Colors Over Time?
How to Detect Potassium Nitrate