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EC number: 215-269-1
CAS number: 1317-38-0
There is a considerable amount of copper accumulation data available. The data demonstrate an inverse relation between the copper bioaccumulation from soil and the copper concentrations in the soil. The information demonstrates that copper is well regulated in all living organisms and that theBCFand BAF values have no meaning for a hazard assessment. The data also demonstrate that copper is not biomagnified in the terrestrial ecosystems and that there is no issue for secondary poisoning of copper.
As for the aquatic environment, homeostatic
regulation of copper (and other metals) is also relevant to soil
Inverse relationship between copper soilBCF(concentrations
in plants/ concentrations in soils) and copper concentrations in the
soils were observed by
and Thornton, 1994 for pasture herbage
et al (2002) for lettuce, tomato and onions and by Tambasco et al (2000) for
lettuce (Lactuca sativa)
Inverse relationship between copper soil BAF
(concentrations in invertebrates/ concentrations in soils) and copper
concentrations in the soils were observed by
et al, 1997 forEisenia Andrei
et al (2001) for different invertebrate species, collected in the field
and Weeks (1997) forLumbricus sp.
et al. (1999), who developed a database of Cu concentrations in soil and
and Cheung, 1986 demonstrated that Caterpillars of the white butterfly (Pieris
conidia) ingesting large amounts of plant leaf material, do not
concentrate metals. Lower Cu contents are found in the organism than in
the plant material (BCFof
0.1 to 0.3).
The section further includes some supporting
data of relevance to secondary poisoning
- Chaney et al, 1983 introduced the term
“Soil-Plant Barrier” for describing the mechanisms behind reduced plant
uptake. A “Soil-Plant Barrier” protects the food chain from toxicity of
a microelement when one or more of abiotic or biotic processes limit
maximum levels of that element in edible plant tissues to levels safe
for animals: 1) insolubility of the element in soil prevents uptake; 2)
immobility of an element in fibrous roots prevents translocation to
edible plant tissues; or 3) phytotoxicity of the element occurs at
concentrations of the element in edible plant tissues below that
injurious to animals.
et al (2000) assessed the secondary poisoning for copper and calculated
an average BAF of 0.09 for earthworms based on an extensive Dutch
database (170 data points) – they concluded that for copper it was not
necessary to integrate secondary poisoning aspects into the copper
aquatic quality criteria.
Biomagnification factor (BMF)
Lakowski (1991) explored the pattern of
biomagnification of Cu in the terrestrial invertebrates food web. Based
on 37 biomagnification factors representing herbivores, carnivores and
detrivores, the slope of the linear regression was less than one
suggesting regulation of Cu concentration.
Hunter and Johnson (1982) examined the food
chain transfer of Cu and Cd in contaminated grassland around a refinery.
Metal movement between producers, herbivores and carnivore trophic
levels was examined with an emphasis on the small mammal components of
the food web. Animal: diet ratios decreased with increasing soil
concentrations and were all smaller than 0.2. This illustrates the
degree of homeostatic regulation exercised by mammalian systems over
body tissue retention of ingested Cu.
On the basis of a literature review, Heikens
et al (2001) compared Cu accumulation between different invertebrate
species. Metal body concentrations were highest in Isopoda and lowest in
Coleoptera. Differences in metal accumulation between taxonomic groups
were ascribed to differences in metal kinetics, regulation mechanism and
the exposure route. Terrestrial Isopoda are detrivores who live on
litter and feed on organic matter. On the other hand Coleoptera are
either herbivores or carnivores and have less intensive contact with
Wittassek (1987) came to a similar conclusion
when studying the uptake of Cu in vineyard soil organisms adapted to 60
years of continuous use of Cu sulphate fungicides. Slugs, Isopods and
Diplopods (detrivores) showed the highest accumulation of Cu. Chilopoda
and spiders, as predators, had high Cu concentrations only when their
prey concentrations were high (they did not bioaccumulate).
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