The problems with Copper Sulphate and Formaldehyde

With growing concerns and regulatory changes being made to the use of Copper Sulphate and Formaldehyde, it is imperative that other safer and effective solutions are considered.

Copper Sulphate:

Copper Sulphate cannot legally be used in a footbath any more. According to EU Regulations, December 2015 ‘Copper Sulphate can only be used until 31st December 2015’

By using Copper Sulphate as a footbath solution it may result in the lifetime contamination of soil. Back in 2001, it was noted in Hoards Dairyman that ‘In some locations, crop yields have been greatly reduced as a result of copper toxicity. At current rates of application, many dairy operations will achieve the lifetime accumulative load within a period of 10-15 years’. Given that it is now 2016, it is clear that many dairy farms will have already reached the lifetime contamination of soil.


Formaldehyde is a carcinogen, found to cause cancers.

Based on EU Regulations as of June 2014, Formaldehyde was reclassified to carcinogenic category 1B and mutagen category 2. Also the IARC has proven that that there is sufficient evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde has been found to cause cancer of the nasopharynx and leukaemia.

The rules around the usage of Formaldehyde (Formalin) changed at the end of November 2015 according to DEFRA. According to the changes noted at the end of 2015 ‘if a health and safety issue arose through its use and be investigated, and the person using it found not to have been suitably trained and competent, then there could be grounds for prosecution’.