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Is Malachite Toxic? Best Safety Precautions To Be Taken

Is malachite toxic?

We all know that some gemstones and crystals can release toxins in some conditions.

For example, many people avoid wearing pieces made with red coral or lapis lazuli.

But what about malachite? Is it safe to wear it as jewelry or use it as crystals?

Polished malachite stone
Image by Carole Smile via Unsplash

The stone is a beautiful green mineral often used in jewelry, especially in rings, pendants, and decorative purposes.

It is also known for its metaphysical properties as a crystal. But is malachite toxic to humans?

Let’s get to the bottom of this topic and find out whether the malachite stone poses any real risk to human health.

Is Malachite Toxic? A Detailed Explanation

Malachite is a copper carbonate hydroxide mineral found in many parts of the world.

Many people believe the stone to be toxic because of its copper content. For this reason, there are concerns about drinking Malachite-infused water.

But is it harmful to our health?

Malachite raw stone
Image by Alix Saz via Wikimedia

Malachite and Water pH

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has published a list of harmful inorganic ingredients in drinking water, and copper is one of them.

Both short and long-term exposure to copper in drinking water can cause various complications.

You can suffer from gastrointestinal problems to possible kidney or liver damage.

This raises valid concerns about the toxicity of malachite. However, you will be relieved to know that the pipes supplying drinking water to households and other places are copper.

You might be wondering why the authority uses copper metal pipes if copper is damaging to our health.

Well, copper will only leach onto the water based on the pH and the duration of water kept inside.

Low pH water is acidic and triggers the release of copper from the pipes. So, the lower the pH, the higher the amount of copper will be in the water.

Water pH is a measurement of how acidic or basic it is. Water pH 7 is neutral, so 1 indicates the highest acidity, and 10 refers to the maximum basic nature.

If the water is slightly acidic, with a pH level of 6.5 or 6, copper will only get released into the water if it stays within the pipe for a long time.

So, it’s clear that acidic water will leach copper and the rate of leaching increases with the exposure time.

Only a small amount of copper will be mixed if the acidic water does not sit inside the pipe.

The same logic applies to malachite. The copper in it does not get mixed into water unless it has lower pH or the stone is soaked into water for a long time.

Is Malachite Safe to the Skin?

There is a claim that the copper in malachite can penetrate the skin, so it’s dangerous to wear jewelry made of this stone.

This is simply a myth.

Unless you have a copper allergy, the chemical element does not pose any risk when ingested through the skin.

In fact, the National Center for Biotechnology Information found some beneficial effects of copper when delivered through the skin for medical reasons.

Also, there is zero possibility of ingesting malachite copper through the skin under normal conditions.

So, you can wear jewelry made of this stone without any worry.

Is Malachite Toxic: Malachite and Arsenic

Another stigma against the stone is that it contains arsenic. Many people firmly believe that malachite’s toxicity comes from its arsenic element, which is entirely untrue.

The chemical composition of the mineral malachite is Cu₂CO₃(OH)₂. It’s clear from the formula that it contains no arsenic.

Malachite Toxicity from Breathing

Yes, malachite is toxic when you inhale it in a powder form.

It’s a relatively soft mineral, having a hardness between 3.5 and 4.0 on the Mohs scale.

You can easily crush it into powder in its raw form. It can also release plenty of dust particles during the lapidary of raw malachite.

Since these particles are suspended in the air, there is a high chance of ingesting them.

If malachite dust is inhaled, it irritates the respiratory tract, leading to severe complications.

Some other possible symptoms could be shortness of breath and coughing.

If you ingest the mineral powder, you will experience problems in the gastronomical tract with symptoms like diarrhea and nauseousness.

Eye contact may result in pain and irritation.

When cutting and polishing, you should also be careful about not letting dust particles touch your skin.

It can cause allergic reactions like itchiness, pain, and redness.

Don’t forget about using eyewear and a respirator when working with malachite.

Also, wear gloves and an overall, so your skin is not exposed.

Can Malachite Release Toxic Fumes When Wet?

Since malachite releases copper in contact with acidic water, there’s a concern that it may release toxic fumes when wet.

So, many people advise against keeping it in the bathroom.

Is malachite toxic when it gets moist? No, if you are talking about the release of toxic fumes.

The mineral reacts with acidic water in raw and polished form, but it will only release copper in that case.

Its formula indicates that it can off-gas only oxygen or carbon dioxide, which are not toxic.

So, there’s no way malachite will release toxic fumes when exposed to acidic water or humidity.

Malachite Infused Water and Oil: How Safe Are They?

Crystal elixir is water that has been charged with the energy of crystals.

According to popular belief, drinking that water can improve our physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

To make the elixir, you must soak the crystal in water for a day. Since malachite can release copper when soaked into low pH water, you should not drink that water for safety reasons.

Indeed, there won’t be anything dangerously toxic, and there won’t be even any copper leaching if you soak it in distilled water.

However, you should still avoid drinking malachite elixir because of the unnecessary risks it possesses.

For the same reason, you also should not use malachite-infused oil. Some essential oils have acidic properties that may have a chemical reaction with the malachite soaked in them.

Should You Cleanse Malachite with Water?

Is malachite crystal toxic? No. There is no grave danger of cleansing malachite with water.

You will be safe if you don’t drink that water.

However, if you want to avoid water, you can just cleanse it with other things, including rice, soil, smoke, or other crystals.

After cleansing, activate it by keeping it under moonlight or sunlight.

So, you might wonder if it’s safe to soak or wash malachite in saltwater. Saltwater (ocean water) pH is 8.2, so the stone won’t react and release any copper.

But the stone is quite soft, so saltwater soaking for a long time may cause irreversible damage.

Some people choose to soak it in moonwater. But you should avoid any kind of water cleansing because the stone can get damaged.

Final Words

Is malachite toxic? No. The stone is used for making beautiful jewelry, ornaments, and other decorative objects.

It’s completely safe to wear the jewelry and use decorative items.

However, you should be careful when using it as a crystal. Since it has a possibility to react with water, you should avoid soaking it or drinking malachite-infused water to be on the safe side.

Is Malachite Toxic: FAQs

Is malachite poisonous when wet?

No, malachite is not poisonous when wet. It reacts with acidic water and may release a small amount of copper into that water.

Unless you drink that water, there is no health hazard.

Is it safe to wear malachite jewelry?

Wearing malachite jewelry is completely safe.

The stone does not release anything toxic or harmful to health in normal conditions.

What happens if you breathe in malachite?

Nothing. But there will be various health complications if you breathe in malachite powder or dust particles.