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Copper Sulphate Fungicide

Adrian Marsegaglia - 17730239 Presentation on Copper Sulphate Fungicide to WA Horticultural Council
by

Adrian Marsegaglia

on 28 April 2014

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Transcript of Copper Sulphate Fungicide

Copper Sulphate Fungicide
What is it?
About Copper Sulphate
Safely Using Copper Sulfate
Copper Sulfate can be poisonous to humans and therefore safety methods are necessary when using copper sulfate.
Protective boots, gloves and goggles should be worn at all times when handling copper sulfate as the most common way humans receive toxic amounts of copper sulphate is through the eyes or skin contact. Short term exposure causes irritation to the skin or eyes and if ingested can cause vomiting and nausea. Long term effects of chronic exposure include liver disease and lung tissue damage causing shortness of breath and coughing.

Environmental Implications
Copper Sulphate can be used as a fungicide to control fungal and bacterial diseases of fruit, vegetables, nut and field crops. The most common diseases treated by Copper Sulphate include mildew, leaf spots, apple scabs and blights. It is most commonly found as a dust, wettable powders or fluid concentrates.


An example of powdery mildew which copper sulphate is used to treat.

Leaf Spots
Apples with apple scabs
Early Blights forming on a leaf
Copper Sulphate is usually combined with lime and water which is known and the
Bordeaux Mixture
. This is used for application to leaves and seeds.
The copper ion is the part of copper sulphate that has toxic implications for the fungi. The copper ion causes protein denaturing which leads to cell damage.
Copper Sulphate is poisonous to humans and many other animals and therefore must be used with caution and not over applied.
Copper from the Copper Sulfate is not biodegradable and therefore builds up in ecosystems and can be dangerous to the environment

The correct safety equipment being used during the application of copper sulphate to a vineyard
The most common use of copper sulphate is in vineyards which meant that the vineyard sprayers were constantly exposed to copper sulphate. This led to long term health problems with vineyard sprayers such as coughing from lung tissue damage which led to the term "Vineyard Sprayers Lung".
Conclusion
Copper Sulphate can be a very useful tool in treating fungal diseases in non commercial horticulture but must be used with caution as it can be harmful to not only the people using the spray, but their surrounding ecosystems. Therefore correct use of this fungicide should be encouraged in the horticultural society in Western Australia.
Impact on Animal Life
Copper Sulphate can be poisonous to many animals and therefore must be used carefully. Since copper sulphate is not biodegradable, it can build up in the ecosystem and appear in high levels in the higher order consumers and can be deadly to them. Due to run off and drainage, copper sulphate can also find its way into lakes and water ways which can be dangerous to aquatic organisms especially fish as it is very toxic for most fish. It is therefore very important to ensure that copper sulphate is not over used as a fungicide and used in appropriate areas where its use will not be detrimental to the surrounding ecosystems.
Impact on Plant Life
Making and Using Copper Sulphate
Copper Sulphate Fungicide can be made at home in the form of the Bordeaux mixture. The recipe is as follows:
Dissolve 100g of Builders Lime into a bucket of water (5 litres)
Dissolve 100g of copper sulphate (available at gardening centres) in a separate half bucket of water
Keeping the lime mixture agitated, pour in the bucket of copper sulphate to make the Bordeaux Mix.
When applying this spray, cover the main branches of the plant. the spray will colour the sprayed plants blue.
Copper Sulphate can also be dangerous to plant life. Due to it being non biodegradable it washes down into the lower soil levels and accumulates. Although copper is an essential mineral for plant growth, if it is in excess it can be deadly for a plant. So therefore if the plant absorbs too much copper sulphate it can interrupt photosynthesis and kill the plant. Copper sulphate is also dangerous to aquatic plants. It contributes to algal blooms which destroy aquatic ecosystems. These are other reasons why copper sulphate should be used carefully as a fungicide.
References
Extoxnet, Copper Suphate, Accessed 25/04/2014
http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/carbaryl-dicrotophos/copper-sulfate-ext.html

National Pesticide Information Centre, Copper Sulphate, Accessed 25/04/2014
http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/cuso4tech.html#env

Aquatic Biologists Inc, Copper Sulphate, Accessed 25/04/2014
http://www.aquaticbiologists.com/aquatic-chemicals/herbicides/copper-sulfate

ABC, Fact Sheet - Bordeaux Mixture, Accessed 25/04/2014
http://www.abc.net.au/gardening/stories/s1631445.htm

Chemical Information
Copper (II) Sulphate - CuS04
Copper Sulphate is made up of Copper 2+ and Sulphate 2-. When used as a fungicide in the Bordeaux mix (mixed with water) the water separates the Copper and Sulphate ions making the substances in the aqueous form. It is the copper ions that are toxic to the fungi as the fungi absorbs the copper the ions and they work to denature the proteins.
The copper ion
killing the fungi
This is why the easiest method of application of this fungicide is the Bordeaux mixture as the Copper Sulphate is in aqueous form which means that the copper ion is free to be absorbed on its own. This could not happen when the substance is in solid form.
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