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7 Unusual Facts About Copper

This week we continue our examination of common scrap metals by uncovering seven unusual facts about copper.

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  1. Copper plays a key role in the human body

An adult human body contains between 1.4 and 2.1mg of copper per kg. Copper is a trace dietary mineral that can be found in the muscle, liver and bone. Foods rich in this trace mineral include broccoli, almonds, chocolate, soybeans, garlic, peas, seafood and whole wheat products.

 

  1. The word copper comes from the Latin word ‘aes cyprium’

Aes cyprium means “metal of Cyprus” and refers to the island where copper was mined during the Roman era.

 

  1. It is the oldest metal worked by man

Humans have been working copper for almost 8,000 years and utilized native copper created by naturally occurring chemical reactions. The oldest copper object (and therefore the oldest metal object) ever found is a tiny awl (leather working tool) dating back around 6,000 years to sometime between 5100 and 4600 B.C. Modern humans discovered how to smelt copper in about 4500 B.C, this marked the beginning of the Bronze Age.

 

  1. Copper is antimicrobial

It can kill bacteria, viruses and yeasts upon contact by disrupting the electrical charge of cell membranes. These properties have made copper a popular area of research in the medical field and is currently being tested to see if it can reduce the microbial burden in a hospital environment and thus reduce instances of infection.

 

  1. Ancient Egyptians made copper makeup

Copper played an integral part in the daily beauty routine of Egyptians, who not only used copper to create personal care implements such as razors and mirrors, but also used copper compounds malachite and azurite to produce vibrant green and blue eye makeup.

 

  1. Early electrical engineering would have been impossible without copper

The scientists who were pioneers in electricity relied heavily on copper as a transmitter due to it’s high conductivity properties.

 

  1. The Statue of Liberty contains 81,000 tons of copper

This iconic statue is covered in 80 tons of green verdigris (the green colour produced when copper is exposed to water and air) which is only 0.12 millimetres thick. Originally the statue was copper coloured and only became green in 1920, 34 years after it was constructed.

 

Metal Men Recycling accept all grades of copper and offer cash for metal scrap of all kinds. Contact us today by calling 03 5941 6677.