Copper occurs naturally in all waters, sediments and soils and is needed for growth. If a soil does not contain enough copper, it cannot grow productive crops.

Far from being harmful, it is vital – plants, fish, animals and humans need copper to be viable.

The world’s two most important food crops – rice and wheat – do not thrive in copper-deficient soils, resulting in reduced yields and poorer quality.

In Europe, 18 million hectares of cropland (equivalent to 19% arable land) are believed to be deficient in bioavailable copper. To compensate for this, it is common practice to treat soils with copper-enriched fertilisers and copper sulphate.

Copper-containing preparations have long been used in numerous agricultural crops as plant protection agents against fungal diseases. Many copper preparations are also approved for use in organic farming.

Under normal conditions of use, copper is not persistent, bioaccumulative or toxic to the environment.



Copper is a naturally occurring element.

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Environment and Health

Copper is natural. Copper is found in traces in almost all rocks. The average copper content in the earth's crust is about 0.006 %. In the order of frequency of all elements, copper is thus in 23rd place.


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