Brazilian scientists have undertaken a new study to assess the effects of copper-based algicides, pesticides and herbicides upon a range of freshwater organisms.
While copper is widely used, few comparative studies on the toxicity of the metal to different aquatic organisms have been undertaken.
De Oliveira-Filho, Lopes and Paumgartten studied the effect of the metal on Zebra danios, Daphnia, the snail Biomphalaria glabrata and the algae Raphidocelis subcapitata and have just published their findings in the journal Chemosphere.
The work revealed new data on the levels at which copper limits the growth of algae, kills snails and harms fish, and the conclusion is that the indiscriminate use of the chemical can have harmful effects on other organisms present in the water.
Copper-based treatments are used for the control of algae, fungus, parasites and snails in ponds and aquaria.
For more details see: De Oliveira-Filho EC, Lopes RM, Paumgartten FJ (2004) - Comparative study on the susceptibility of freshwater species to copper-based pesticides. Chemosphere. 2004 Jul ; 56(4): 369-74