Reaction to water from copper plumbing

One of the elderly neighbors had his old galvanized replaced with copper and says ever since, she has had skin problems. She says she can't wear costume jewelry because once the silver or gold plating wears off it irritates the skin.
My first thought is that the water was carrying copper, but this has been 6 months now and the system has been flushed out several times by now.
Anyone run across this kind of problem and know a way to solve it - without replacing the copper with something else.
Thanks in advance.
Bob
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Clarification - the neighbor has never been to tolerate contact with brass or other costume jewelry. This was just a comment she made -- not related to the current problem.
One of the elderly neighbors had his old galvanized replaced with copper and says ever since, she has had skin problems. She says she can't wear costume jewelry because once the silver or gold plating wears off it irritates the skin.
My first thought is that the water was carrying copper, but this has been 6 months now and the system has been flushed out several times by now.
Anyone run across this kind of problem and know a way to solve it - without replacing the copper with something else.
Thanks in advance.
Bob
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Some folk are known to interact with metals. Be aware that gold and to a lesser extent silver have a component of cheaper metals as part of their make up.
It's also possible your neighbor is reacting to the solder (could be lead or it could be silver solder). Regardless solder is really only one mental and the make up varies considerably.
At this point I would have both a quantative and qualitative analyses of the water performed. This is not going to be cheap and is *not* what is typically run for water quality.
One of the elderly neighbors had his old galvanized replaced with copper and says ever since, she has had skin problems. She says she can't wear costume jewelry because once the silver or gold plating wears off it irritates the skin.
My first thought is that the water was carrying copper, but this has been 6 months now and the system has been flushed out several times by now.
Anyone run across this kind of problem and know a way to solve it - without replacing the copper with something else.
Thanks in advance.
Bob
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Thanks, NM!!! From time to time I send industrial sample to a local lab and they will probably run some samples for pizza (or a bottle of Jack Daniels, depending on who's doing it.) Will take some from the bathroom and kitchen, and one from water upstream from the copper. Thanks again.

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That should ream *MORE* than one metal.

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But it probably is. Rather rare, but reactions are possible.
Two solutions: 1. Before washing or drinking; Run the water every day to flush what was sitting in the pipes all night. That would reduce and possibly eliminate whatever chemical is causing the problem. 2. Re-plumb with PEX
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On Mon, 9 Jul 2012 14:25:01 -0700, "Guv Bob"
says ever since, she has had skin problems. She says she can't wear costume jewelry because once the silver or gold plating wears off it irritates the skin.

Most likely has nothing to do with the copper pipes, she has just finally reacher her nickel tolerance level or something like that.
Too LITTLE copper is more often assocoated with skin problems unless a person is loaded with copper fromother sources. Vegetarians are much more likely to suffer from copper overload, Often a zinc deficiency can make one sensitive to copper (inballance)
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On Jul 9, 10:53pm, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I would suspect the plumbing LAST in a situation like this... It is much more likely to be an issue with some sort of vitamin supplements being taken...
It sounds a lot like she make have changed brands or may have gotten a batch with a stronger dosage of something in it...
City water contains far more chlorides and fluorides in the water from the treatment process, well water has more calcium and salts... Leaded solder is not supposed to be used in potable water plumbing any more...
Copper piping quickly forms a protective layer of oxide on it if raw copper is exposed, but new piping has a protective coating on it which takes a while to erode away...
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Guv Bob wrote:

says ever since, she has had skin problems. She says she can't wear costume jewelry because once the silver or gold plating wears off it irritates the skin.

Hi, First of all every mineral for our body has counter acting pairs. For Copper it is Zinc. Cu is important for proper liver function. She may have not enough Zn in her body to maintain balance between Cu and Zn. I an just explaining here very basic stuff. I came across some people who has skin irritation because learning Cu is good for the liver, took too much Cu supplement. Maybe hee liver function is compromised not to a point of creating medical condition or who knows what is going on. Sounds like just a coincidence.
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wrote:

and says ever since, she has had skin problems.  She says she can't wear costume jewelry because once the silver or gold plating wears off it irritates the skin.

Read, harry. It is well documented that zinc and copper ballance each other in the body. The right amount of copper without the right amount of zinc is seen by the body as too much copper, while other bodily functions say "not enough"
No pills are required for the average person if they eat a good balanced diet.
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Guv,
Your neighbor should take this skin problem to a physician. The plumbing change might be just coincidental. So, don't try to fix the problem until you know what the problem is.
Dave M.
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My thoughts, no one has suggested that the elderly person might be getting a little dementia and blaming water for a totally unre;ated problem, or maybe not even a real problem. And, I fall into that elderly genre so I am not picking on old folks.
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wrote:

Dementia isn't even required. Besides a suspicion, there is no evidence that the water is the source of her skin problem. People can get various skin conditions from lots of reasons. And a lot of times, even a dermatologist can't tell the exact cause.
Simplest thing to do would be to switch to bottled water for a couple weeks and see what happens.
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On 7/9/2012 5:25 PM, Guv Bob wrote:

says ever since, she has had skin problems. She says she can't wear costume jewelry because once the silver or gold plating wears off it irritates the skin.

Don't understand how the plating wearing off can connect with copper plumbing....one of the most common problems with jewelry is sensitivity or allergy to nickel. Might want to coat the worn jewelry with clear nail polish or have it replated.
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He made this clarification in a following post:
"Clarification - the neighbor has never been to tolerate contact with brass or other costume jewelry. This was just a comment she made -- not related to the current problem. "
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