CuSO4, also known as copper(II) sulfate, is an inorganic compound made by combining a copper ion with a charge of positive two and a sulfate anion with a charge of negative two. CuSO4 is used as a fungicide, pesticide and herbicide, and it inhibits the growth of certain bacteria.
Copper(II) sulfate is a solid compound that can be green, blue or gray-white depending on how hydrated it is. It is produced industrially by mixing copper oxide with dilute sulfuric acid or by pouring concentrated sulfuric acid that has been heated to a high temperature onto elemental copper.
Copper(II) sulfate is water-soluble and can bind to sediment near the top of soil when used as a pesticide. The United States has used copper(II) sulfate as a pesticide since 1956.
Human beings require a trace amount of copper in the body to maintain proper health. However, too much copper in the body is harmful, and ingestion can cause symptoms of nausea, burning pain in the chest, headache and a metallic taste in the mouth. Scientists are unsure if copper(II) sulfate can cause cancer in animals, and as of 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not released a cancer rating for the compound.