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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Environmental Fate and Ecological Impact of Copper Hydroxide

Authors
item Rice, Pamela
item Hapeman, Cathleen
item Harman Fetcho, Jennifer
item Heighton Davies, Lynne
item McConnell, Laura
item Sadeghi, Ali

Submitted to: American Chemical Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 23, 2003
Publication Date: March 23, 2003
Citation: Rice, P.J., Hapeman, C.J., Harman Fetcho, J.A., Heighton Davies, L., Mcconnell, L.L., Sadeghi, A.M. 2003. Environmental fate and ecological impact of copper hydroxide. American Chemical Society Abstracts. Abstract No. 64.

Technical Abstract: Copper, applied in the form of copper hydroxide, is a widely used fungicide/bactericide for control of plant diseases. Copper has been shown to have adverse effects on aquatic organisms including a reduction in macroinvertebrate survival and structural and functional effects on fish nervous systems. In the Mid-Atlantic area, copper is applied to tomato plants up to 15x a growing season resulting in the use of 107,000 lbs. ai/yr. A field study comparing off-site loading of copper with runoff from tomato plants grown in two mulch systems was conducted to determine their environmental impact. Total copper loads in runoff from polyethylene mulch plots were 9x greater than from hairy vetch plots, representing 36 and 4% of applied copper respectively. The particulate-phase of runoff contained more than 80% of the copper loads from both cultivation practices. Controlling soil erosion with runoff will reduce the environmental impact of vegetable production.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014