Mining and metal manufacturing are the largest sources of copper in Australia. Water supply, sewerage and draining surfaces, petroleum refining, log sawmilling and timber dressing activities can also emit copper. Copper is also involved in chemical manufacture, electricity supply, coal mining, cement, lime, plaster and concrete product manufacture, transport equipment manufacturing, iron and steel manufacturing, petroleum and coal product manufacturing. Other manufacturing industries where copper may be used include: beverages and malt, paper and paper products, glass and glass products, fabricated and structural metal products, motor vehicles and parts, wood products, ceramic products, food and beverage products, textile, yarn and woven fabrics.
Diffuse sources, and industry sources included in diffuse emissions data
Paved roads, windblown dust, burning fuels or wildfires, motor vehicles, solid and liquid fuel combustion, lawn mowing, leaching from antifouling paint on ships and boats, agriculture and barbeques (from burning fuel) are all capable of causing copper emissions.
Copper and compounds occurs naturally in the earth's crust in rocks, soil, waters, plants, animals and humans. It is also present in fresh and sea water. These are generally at low concentrations. This trace element is essential to many plants and animals, and occurs in biological complexes such as pheophytin, hemocyanin and tyrosinase.
Copper emissions may be present from the vehicle exhaust of cars, aeroplanes, railway operations and from commercial shipping or boating.
Many consumer products contain copper including, coins, jewelry, electrical appliances, cookware, some unwashed agricultural products, some commercial gardening products and some vitamin/mineral dietary supplements.
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