Copper Brake Linings and Fish

by

A slamon way off course!

Every now an again I come across something that I did not know but that in retrospect, I feel I should have.  Last week I heard a water pollution expert say that the copper from auto and truck brake linings, although a real breakthrough in safety when invented, is one of the biggest pollutants in streams and rivers.  As vehicles brake, some copper is turned to dust and accumulates on and near roadways.  Storm drains on roads almost invariably drain directly to streams and other waterways.   Rain washes the copper dust into the water and causes all sort of trouble with fish and invertebrates. Salmon in particular seem to lose their sense of smell and direction when exposed to just trace amounts of copper.  Maybe that is what happened to the salmon in the photo on this post?    Here is a link to a PDF that describes the problem rather well, if a bit technically.  Recent agreements with brake manufacturers hope to reduce the pollution,but it will take a real nationwide effort similar to what the State of Washington just did to make a difference.

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Will Sig
1 Dennis the Vizsla

Huh, I didn’t know that was copper in the brakes. I do know copper is highly toxic to aquarium fish though.

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2 Luc J

You’re right when you talk about water pollution. But can you imagine how much of this stuff you inhale when working or living next to a highway?
I wonder if there’s ever been a real investigation into that issue?
.-= Luc J´s last blog ..Buckle-Up Your Pet in Your Car – Pet Seatbelt =-.

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3 Will

Hmm, I wonder if water from a house with copper plumbing is ever a problem for aquariums? Seems like it would not be although I have heard that trace amounts of copper does get into the water.

Good point Luc. I wonder how much is in the air in a city like L.A.? I think copper is more of a problem for aquatic life rather than humans, but who knows? I bet it has been looked at somewhere. I would not want to live near a copper smelter, though!

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4 Anna

Will, I think with each innovation in this world there is something wrong, directly or indirectly. So many problems to fix. Anna 🙂
.-= Anna´s last blog ..Good Luck Horseshoe =-.

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5 Tony McGurk

Goodness, it’s really amazing where all these pollutants end up coming from. Who’da thought of brake lining dust polluting the oceans & rivers. Man’s impact on the environment is so far reaching isn’t it?
.-= Tony´s last blog ..Fuelly.com =-.

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6 Tony

Goodness, it’s really amazing where all these pollutants end up coming from. Who’da thought of brake lining dust polluting the oceans & rivers. Man’s impact on the environment is so far reaching isn’t it?
.-= Tony´s last blog ..Fuelly.com =-.

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7 Will

Yeah Tony, and who would have thought that such minute quantities would have such an effect on the fish.

I agree Anna. Sometimes I don’t even like to think about it!

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