Found as a pure metal in North America, Chile, and Australia. The most important copper ores are Kupferkies (Chalkopryrit), Buntkupfererz (Bornit), Kupferglanz (Chalkosin), Rotkupfererz (Cuprit), Malachit, and Kupferglasur (Azurit).
Copper is an often used metal, especially in electrifying processes. Exposure may occur during mining and processing.
United States: ACGIH
United States: NIOSH/OSHA
Detailed data are not known; however, persons exposed to copper fumes show an increased risk of lung cancer, which has been attributed to arsenic fumes also present in the factories.
Acute intoxication, cancer.
Patients present with vomiting, diarrhoea, and paralysis of respiratory muscles depending on the severeness of acute intoxication. Those with lung cancer suffer from symptoms related to the size and localization of the neoplasm.
Chest radiographs may show diffuse densities and “wet lungs” in case of intoxication, or a solid circumscribed mass in patients with lung neoplasms.
Usually related to size and extent of the tumor mass.
The lavage fluid may contain tumor cells, and an increased number of inflammatory cells.
The lungs are heavy, wet, and soft in consistency in patients with acute intoxications, and display solid yellowish-white, hemorrhagicnecrotic nodules in patient suffering from lung cancer.
The peripheral lung parenchyma is altered by an intra-alveolar and interstitial edema combined with invading inflammatory cells (monocytes and granulocytes) in patients with acute intoxication. All cell types of bronchial carcinoma have been found in persons working in copper mines or factories.
Fair in acute intoxication; poor in patients with lung cancer.
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