Authored by: David R. Parker , Judith F. Pedler

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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Copper (Cu) is a metallic trace element with two naturally occurring isotopes (63Cu and 65Cu), and is essential for the growth of all life. Naturally present in all soils, Cu is found in excessive and potentially toxic concentrations in mine spoils, in waste products from industrial and agricultural activities, and in some agricultural soils due to historic use of Cu sprays (e.g., Bordeaux mix) for disease control. Copper is deficient in many soils around the world, and addition of Cu fertilizer is required for productive crop growth.

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