Agent Name

Zinc

CAS Number

7440-66-6

Formula

Zn

Major Category

Metals

Synonyms

Asarco L 15; Blue powder; Emanay zinc dust; Granular zinc; Jasad; LS 2; LS 6; Lead refinery vacuum zinc; Merrillite; Rheinzink; Zinc; Zinc dust; Zinc powder; [ChemIDplus] UN1436

Category

Elements, Metallic

Description

Gray powder; [CAMEO]

Sources/Uses

Used in galvanizing and alloying; Also used in dry cell batteries and in organic chemistry, bronze deoxidizing, gold extracting, fat purifying, and bone bleaching; An essential dietary mineral; [Merck Index] Zinc dust is used as a pigment in rust-resistant coatings. Also used as a reducing agent, an additive to plastics and lubricants, a purification agent in electrolytic zinc plants, and a component of primary batteries and abrasives; it is used in spray metallizing and mechanical plating. [CHEMINFO] Spalerite is the most important Zn ore; Workers are exposed to zinc in mining, smelting, and welding; [Nordberg, p. 1370, 1374]

Comments

Zinc is essential to plant and animal life; It is in more than 300 enzymes involved in all aspects of metabolism; Zn is also needed for the proper structural function of proteins; Zn deficiency causes failed growth and development; Zn is necessary for healthy immunity and wound healing; Zn is depleted in some soils; Plant ligands, e.g., phytate and lignin, can interfere with Zn absorption; 20% of the world's people are at risk for Zn deficiency; Zn supplements are the most common source of excess Zn; Excess intake may precipitate copper deficiency; Excess Zn in drinks, up to 2500 mg/L, caused vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain; Zinc oxide fume cause metal fume fever, and zinc chloride fume cause acute pneumonitis; [Nordberg, p. 1369-82] Produces flammable hydrogen when in contact with moisture; [CAMEO] Zinc powder or dust are usually coated with zinc carbonate to reduce the risk of spontaneous combustion. Zinc dust is not known to be harmful after inhalation or contact with the skin or eyes. [CHEMINFO] Zinc is a "hepatotoxic agent." [Zimmerman, p. 4] See "Zinc chloride fume." See "Zinc oxide."

Exposure Assessment
MAK

0.1 ppm(respirable fraction), 2 mg/m3 (inhalable fraction) for Zn inorg. cmpnds

Explanatory Notes

Melting point = 787 degrees F; VP = practically zero; [CHEMINFO]

Adverse Effects
Hepatotoxin

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

Links to Other NLM Databases
Health Studies

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Toxicity Information

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Chemical Information

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Related Information in HazMap
Diseases

Occupational diseases associated with exposure to this agent:

Processes

Industrial Processes with risk of exposure: