Copper exposure and metal fume fever: Lack of evidence for a causal relationship

J. Borak, H. Cohen, T. A. Hethmon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


A systematic search was made of the world literature concerned with possible adverse health effects of inhalation exposure to copper fume and dust. Seven reports published over the past 88 years were identified that contain original human data and purport to document that exposure to copper dust or fume caused metal fume fever (MFF) or an MFF-like syndrome. Insufficient evidence was found to conclude that exposures to copper dust and copper fume cause MFF. Limitations included absence of exposure measurements, atypical symptoms and complaints, and lack of consistency among types of work associated with symptoms. Given the extensive use of copper in many industries and operations, it is evident that if copper-induced MFF does occur, it is a rare event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)832-836
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Copper
  • Fume
  • Metal fume
  • Metal fume fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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