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Copper in health
 Biocidal copper 

Copper is both good and bad for living things. At very low concentrations, it is useful. But when the concentration increases, it becomes toxic and interferes with cell metabolism.

Photo of fungicide
Picture 5. Copper compounds are used in fungicides - fungus killers.
Biocidal
Copper is also useful as a biocide. This is something we can use to control pests. For plants, it is most often used to remove fungi that grow on the leaves. It can also be used to destroy bacteria and insects that damage farmers' crops. In France, they use it on vines that produce grapes for wine.

Clean pipes
Copper is used for water pipes and central heating systems (tanks and pipes). This is because it doesn't corrode and its ductility makes it easy to shape and install. It also protects against the growth of unwanted, pathogenic bacteria such as legionella, which thrive in stagnant water storage units.

Photo of copper saucepans
Picture 6. Copper saucepans.
Copper in the kitchen
A copper work surface can be used in the kitchen for food preparation. It reduces the growth of bacteria (e.g. E-coli) and lowers the possibility of food poisoning.

Copper is used for saucepans because of its durability, corrosion resistance and good thermal conductivity.

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Question 2
Look at the six statements below. decide whether each one is true or false, then make your choice.
a. At low concentrations, copper is essential for life.
b. A biocide is an agent that encourages growth.
c. Copper is used to remove the leaves from fungi.
d. Copper is added to improve the taste of wine.
e. Copper saucepans benefit from copper's good thermal conductivity
f. Copper systems can prevent disease from bacterial infections.