Copper is an essential element
and is always present in food and in animal liver, which are the major
contributors to dietary exposure to copper. Copper is common in the environment.
We may be exposed to copper by breathing air, drinking water, eating food, and
by skin contact with soil, water and other copper-containing substances. Most
copper compounds found in air, water, sediment, soil and rock are strongly
attached to dust and dirt or imbedded in minerals.
In various regions of Pakistan, the Cu concentration in soil and dust ranges
from <6 to 412 mg/kg, where contaminated site from Kohistan region reported the
highest content of Cu in soil. The capital city of Pakistan (Islamabad)
industrial area shows that the total concentration of Cu is in the range of
8.88–357.40 mg/kg. The highest level of Cu in sediments was found at the Gizri
Creek location at the most downstream part of the Malir River, Karachi, and
Copper is essential for good health. However, exposure to higher doses can be
harmful. Long-term exposure to copper dust can irritate your nose, mouth, and
eyes, and cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea. If you drink water
that contains higher than normal levels of copper, you may experience nausea,
vomiting, stomach cramps, or diarrhea. Intentionally high intakes of copper can
cause liver and kidney damage and even death.