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Zinc oxide ( CASNO:1314-13-2 )

Identification and Related Records
Zinc oxide
CAS Registry number:
c.i. pigment white 4
flowers of zinc
zinc white
zinc oxide,edible
active zinc oxide
zinkoxyd aktiv
zinci oxidum
activox b
zine oxide
zine white
Molecular Formula:
Molecular Weight:
Canonical SMILES:
Chemical and Physical Properties
white powder
Melting Point:
Boiling Point:
Refractive Index:
Flash Point:
1.6 mg/L (29℃)
1.6 mg/L (29 ℃) in Water
White or yellowish-white powder; hexagonal crystals
Coarse white or grayish powder
Hexagonal, wurtzite crystal structure
Stable. Incompatible with magnesium, strong acids.
HS Code:
Storage temp:
Store in a tightly closed container. Store in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from incompatible substances.
Spectral properties:
Index of refraction: 2.0041, 2.0203
Computed Properties:
Molecular Weight:81.4084 [g/mol]
Molecular Formula:OZn
H-Bond Donor:0
H-Bond Acceptor:1
Rotatable Bond Count:0
Exact Mass:79.924061
MonoIsotopic Mass:79.924061
Topological Polar Surface Area:17.1
Heavy Atom Count:2
Formal Charge:0
Isotope Atom Count:0
Defined Atom Stereocenter Count:0
Undefined Atom Stereocenter Count:0
Defined Bond Stereocenter Count:0
Undefined Bond Stereocenter Count:0
Covalently-Bonded Unit Count:1
Safety and Handling
Hazard Codes:
N:Dangerous for the environment
Risk Statements:
Safety Statements:
A skin irritant. When heated to decomposition it emits toxic fumes of ZnO. See also ZINC OXIDE and ZINC COMPOUNDS.
Safety Information of Zinc oxide (CAS NO.1314-13-2):
Hazard Codes: NDangerous for the environment
Risk Statements: R50/53
R50/53:Very toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment.
Safety Statements: S60;S61
S60:This material and its container must be disposed of as hazardous waste.
S61:Avoid release to the environment. Refer to special instructions / safety data sheets.
Cleanup Methods:
Sweep spilled substance into containers; if appropriate, moisten first to prevent dusting. Carefully collect remainder, then remove to safe place.
UN 3077 9/PG 3
Fire Fighting Procedures:
In case of fire in the surroundings: use appropriate extinguishing media.
Fire Potential:
Not combustible.
Contact with water liberates highly flammable gases.
Zinc oxide is incorporated in powders, ointments, and pastes. Preparation containing zinc oxide including zinc oxide ointment (20% or 25% ZnO), zinc oxide paste (25% ZnO), and zinc oxide and salicylic acid paste (2% salicylic acid in zinc oxide paste).
Calamine consists of pink powder containing zinc oxide (not less than 98%) and small amont of ferric oxide. It is incorporated into calamine lotion (8% calamine and 8% zinc oxide), and phenolated calamine lotion (compound calamine lotion) (1% phenol in calamine lotion).
The medicinal grade contains 99.5% or more ZnO; technical grades contain 90-99% ZnO and a few tenths of 1% of lead.
Grades: American process, lead-free; French process, lead-free, green seal, red seal, white seal (according to fineness); leaded (with lead sulfate); USP, single crystals.
Zinc oxide preparations: Bandages: Zinc Paste and Coal Tar Bandage, not less than 6% zinc oxide; Zinc Paste and Ichthammol Bandage, zinc oxide 6.25 g per 100 g; Zinc Paste Bandge, not less than 6% zinc oxide; Zinc Paste, Calamine and Clioquinol Bandage, zinc oxide 9.25 g per 100 g; Creams: Zinc and Ichthammol Cream, zinc cream 82 g per 100 g; Zinc Cream, zinc oxide 32 g per 100 g; Zinc Cream Oily, zinc oxide 32 g per 100 g; Zinc Oxide and Diphenhydramine Cream, zinc oxide 8 g per 100 g; Dental Cements: Zinc-Eugenol Cement; Kerr's Sealer; Dental Paste: Dental Triozinc Paste; Dusting-powders: Cmpd Zinc Dusting-powder; Conspergens Zinci; Zinc and Salicylic Acid Dusting-powder; Zinc, Starch, and Talc Dusting-powder; Gauzes: Zinc Gelatin Impregnated Gauze; Liniments: Linimentum Phenoli et Zinci Oxydi; Linimentum Zinci; Lotions: Lotions F; Schamberg's Lotion; Zinc Talc Lotion; Ointments: Hamer's Hemorrhoidal Ointment; Zinc and Caster Oil Ointment; Zinc Ointment; Zinc Oxide and Ichthammol Ointment; Zinc oxide cmpd ointment; Pastes: Cmpd Zinc Paste; Zinc Gelatin
Proprietary preparations: Calaband, Coltapaste, Ichthopaste, Icthaband, Noratex, Pharmakon, Quinaband, Septex Cream No1, Sudocrem, Tarband, Thovaline, Impregnated Gauze, Viscopaste, Viscopaste PB7, Zincaband; Herisan; Oxyplastine
/Transparent Zinc Oxide/ Trade names include Sachtotech Micro-Zinkoxid (Sachtleben, Germany) and Z-cote HP 1 (SunSmart, United States).
Trade Names: Akro-Zinc Bar 85; Acro-Zinc Bar 90; Actox 14; Actox 16; Actox 216; Amalox; Azodox; Azo 22; Azo 33; Azo 55; Azo 66; Azo 77TT; Cador XX 78; Chinese white; CI77947; CIPigment White 4; Emanay Zinc Oxide; Emar; Felling Zinc Oxide; Flores de Zinci; Flowers of Zinc; Green Seal 8; Hubbuck's White; Kadox 15; Kadox 72; Kadox 25; Outmine; Ozide; Ozlo; Permanent White; Philosopher's Wool; Powder Base 900; Protox types 166, 167, 168, 169, 267, 268; Red Seal 9; Snow White; Unichem ZO; Vandem VAC; Vandem VOC; Vandem VPC; White Seal 7; XX 203; XX 78; Zinc White; Zinca 20; Zincite; Zincoid; Zn 0701T; Electrox 2500; GIAP 10; Outmine; Unichem ZO; XX 601
Wettable powder - 202.76% zinc oxide; Metal strip - 99.1% zinc; Powder - 99% zinc oxide (formulation intermediate); Powder - 99.4% zinc oxide (industrial preservative).
Exposure Standards and Regulations:
The Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence Evaluations List identifies currently marketed prescription drug products, incl zinc oxide, approved on the basis of safety and effectiveness by FDA under sections 505 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Certification of this color additive when used for coloring externally applied drugs, including those used in the area of the eye, in amounts consistent with good manufacturing practice is not necessary for the protection of the public health, and therefore batches thereof are exempt from the certification pursuant to section 721(c) of the act.
Certification of this color additive when used in cosmetics, including cosmetics intended for use in the area of the eye, in amounts consistent with good manufacturing practice is not necessary for the protection of the public health, and therefore batches thereof are exempt from the certification pursuant to section 721(c) of the act.
This substance is generally recognized as safe when used as a nutrient in accordance with good manufacturing practice.
Drug products containing active ingredients offered over-the-counter (OTC) for the treatment of boils. Zinc oxide is included in this section.
Drug products containing certain active ingredients offered over-the-counter (OTC) for certain uses. A number of active ingredients have been present in OTC drug products for various uses, as described below. However, based on evidence currently available, there are inadequate data to establish general recognition of the safety and effectiveness of these ingredients for the specified uses: zinc oxide is included in topical acne drug products.
Drug products containing certain active ingredients offered over-the-counter (OTC) for certain uses. A number of active ingredients have been present in OTC drug products for various uses, as described below. However, based on evidence currently available, there are inadequate data to establish general recognition of the safety and effectiveness of these ingredients for the specified uses: zinc oxide is included in external analgesic drug products (insect bite and sting).
Sunscreen active ingredients. The active ingredient of the product consists of any of the following, within the concentration specified for each ingredient, and the finished product provides a minimum SPF value of not less than 2 as measured by the testing procedures established in subpart D of this part: zinc oxide up to 25 percent is included on this list.
Trace minerals added to animal feeds as nutritional dietary supplements are generally recognized as safe when added at levels consistent with good feeding practice. Zinc oxide is included on this list.
This substance is generally recognized as safe when used as a nutrient and/or dietary supplement in accordance with good manufacturing or feeding practice.
Reactivities and Incompatibilities:
Slow addition of zinc white (a voluminous oxide containing much air) to cover the surface of linseed oil varnish caused generation of heat and ignition. Lithopone, a denser (air-free) grade of oxide did not cause heating.
Magnesium will reduce /zinc/ oxide violently on heating, similar to aluminium powder in the thermite reaction. /Magnesium: metal oxides/
Intimate mixtures of chlorinated rubber and zinc oxide with or without hydrocarbon or chlorinated solvents, react violently or explosively when heated at about 216 deg C. If in milling such mixtures local overheating occurs, a risk of a violent reaction exists. Such risks can be minimized by controlling milling temperatures, by cooling, or by using a mixture of maximum possible fluidity. /Chlorinated rubber: metal oxides or hydroxides/
Zinc oxide reacts with carbon monoxide or hydrogen to produce /elemental zinc/.
Presence of zinc oxide causes flaming decomp /of hydrazinium nitrate/ above the melting point (70 deg C). /Hydrazinium nitrate: alone, etc/
Other Preventative Measures:
Exhaust ventilation is the most effective control of freshly generated zinc oxide fumes. Education of metal repair persons as to the hazards and proper use of temporary ventilation for large repair jobs is essential.
Prevention /of metal fume fever/ is a matter of keeping exposure of workers below level of concn currently accepted as satisfactory for working with the metal in industry, preferably by employment of proper local exhaust ventilation to collect fumes at their source. Acceptable respirators are avail commercially but should be used only under suitable conditions. /Zinc/
Do not eat, drink, or smoke during work.
In all cases where zinc is heated to the point where fume is produced, it is most important to ensure that adequate ventilation is provided. Individual protection is best ensured by education of the worker concerning metal-fume fever & the provision of local exhaust ventilation, or, in some situations by wearing of supplied-air hood or mask.
Protective Equipment and Clothing:
Respirator Recommendations: Up to 50 mg/cu m: (Assigned Protection Factor = 10) Any particulate respirator equipped with an N95, R95, or P95 filter (including N95, R95, and P95 filtering face quarter-mask respirators. The following filters may also be used: N99, R99, P99, N100, R100, P100)./(Assigned Protection Factor = 10) Any supplied-air respirator.
Respirator Recommendations: Up to 125 mg/cu m: (Assigned Protection Factor = 25) Any supplied-air respirator operated in a continuous flow mode./(Assigned Protection Factor = 25) Any powered, air-purifying respirator with a high-efficiency particulate filter.
Respirator Recommendations: Up to 250 mg/cu m: (Assigned Protection Factor = 50) Any air-purifying, full-facepiece respirator with an N100, R100, or P100 filter./(Assigned Protection Factor = 50) Any supplied-air respirator that has a tight-fitting facepiece and is operated in a continuous-flow mode./(Assigned Protection Factor = 50) Any powered, air-purifying respirator with a tight-fitting facepiece and a high-efficiency particulate filter./(Assigned Protection Factor = 50) Any self-contained breathing apparatus with a full facepiece./(Assigned Protection Factor = 50) Any supplied-air respirator with a full facepiece.
Respirator Recommendations: Up to 500 mg/cu m: (Assigned Protection Factor = 1000) Any supplied-air respirator operated in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode.
Respirator Recommendations: Emergency or planned entry into unknown concentrations or IDLH conditions: (Assigned Protection Factor = 10,000) Any self-contained breathing apparatus that has a full facepiece and is operated in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode./(Assigned Protection Factor = 10,000) Any supplied-air respirator that has a full facepiece and is operated in a pressure-demand or other positive-pressure mode in combination with an auxiliary self-contained positive-pressure breathing apparatus.
Respirator Recommendations: Escape: (Assigned Protection Factor = 50) Any air-purifying, full-facepiece respirator with an N100, R100, or P100 filter./Any appropriate escape-type, self-contained breathing apparatus.
A properly fitting respirator with a filter cartridge suitable for fumes is effective in unusual jobs requiring respirators for short exposures.
Zinc oxide's CAS NO. is 1314-13-2, the synonyms are Zinc white ; C.I. pigment white 4 . Zinc oxide (CAS NO.1314-13-2) is an inorganic compound with the formula ZnO. It usually appears as a white powder, nearly insoluble in water. The powder is widely used as an additive into numerous materials and products including plastics, ceramics, glass, cement, rubber (e.g. car tyres), lubricants, paints, ointments, adhesives, sealants, pigments, foods (source of Zn nutrient), batteries, ferrites, fire retardants, etc. ZnO is present in the Earth crust as a mineral zincite; however, most ZnO used commercially is produced synthetically.
Zinc and its compounds are on the Community Right-To-Know List.
Disposal Methods:
SRP: The most favorable course of action is to use an alternative chemical product with less inherent propensity for occupational exposure or environmental contamination. Recycle any unused portion of the material for its approved use or return it to the manufacturer or supplier. Ultimate disposal of the chemical must consider: the material's impact on air quality; potential migration in soil or water; effects on animal, aquatic, and plant life; and conformance with environmental and public health regulations.
Chemical Treatability of Zinc; Concentration Process: Ultrafiltration; Chemical Classification: Metals; Scale of Study: Continuous flow, pilot scale; Type of Wastewater Used: Industrial wastewater; Results of Study: 0.38 ppm effluent concentration. /Zinc/
Chemical Treatability of Zinc; Concentration Process: Miscellaneous sorbents; Chemical Classification: Metals; Scale of Study: Literature review; Type of Wastewater Used: Unknown; Results of Study: Final concentration reduced to 0.1 ppb; SiO2 + CaO slags used. /Zinc/
Use and Manufacturing
Use and Manufacturing:
Methods of Manufacturing
By vaporization of metallic zinc and oxidation of vapors with preheated air (French process); Also from franklinite, (American process) or from zinc sulfide. Depew, US patent 2372367 (1945 to American Zinc, Lead and Smelting).
Oxidation of vapor-fractionated die castings
The hydrometallurgical or electrolytical process where the zinc oxide is leached from the roasted or calcined material with sulfuric acid to form zinc sulfate solution which is electrolyzed in cells to deposit zinc on cathodes.
Two processes are used to produce metallic zinc from the ore concentrates that are not subjected to caustic soda leaching. In one process, the ore concentrate containing zinc sulfide is roasted in the presence of air to produce zinc oxide, which is combined with coke or coal and retorted to approximately 1,100 deg C to produce metallic zinc. In the other process, the roasted zinc oxide is leached with sulfuric acid, and the solution is electrolyzed to produce zinc of >99.9% purity.

U.S. Exports
(1986) 9.08X10+8 g
Quantities in metric tons: (1994) 8,200; (1995) 7,090

U.S. Imports
(1986)4.36X10+10 g
Quantities in metric tons: (1994) 41,300; (1995) 49,100

U.S. Production
(1970) 202,059 metric tons
(1975) 150,050 metric tons
(1980) 145,509 metric tons
(1986) 1.30X10+11 g
(1990) >500 thousand-1 million pounds
(1992) 103,037 metric tons
(1990) >500 thousand-1 million pounds
(1994) >1 million-10 million pounds
(1998) >500 thousand-1 million pounds
(2002) >10 million-50 million pounds

Consumption Patterns
Rubber, 50%; agriculture, 15%; chemicals, 12%; paints, 8%; ceramics, 5%; photocopying, 5%; miscellaneous, 5% (1986)
Zinc oxide shipments in metric tons (1970), 193,488; (1975) 153,754; (1978) 181,452; (1979) 179,769; (1980) 135,776; (1995) 104,000
US consumption in metric tons: (1995) 70,900
(2001) 1410 thousand metric tons zinc. /Apparent, all forms/
(2002) 1420 thousand metric tons zinc. /Apparent, all forms/
(2003) 1340 thousand metric tons zinc. /Apparent, all forms/
(2004) 1400 thousand metric tons zinc. /Apparent, all forms/
(2005) 1370 thousand metric tons zinc. /Apparent, all forms/
Accelerator activator, pigment and reinforcing agent in rubber, ointments, pigment and mould-growth inhibitor in paints, uv absorber in plastics, ceramics, floor tile, glass, zinc salts, feed additive, dietary supplement, seed treatment cosmetics, photoconductor in office copying machines and in colour photography, piezoelectric devices, artists' colorant.
Sampling Procedures:
Analyte: Zinc (metals and oxides); Matrix: air; Sampler: filter (0.8 um cellulose ester membrane); Flow rate: 1 L/min; Vol: min: 10 L, max: 400 L; Stability: At least 1 yr at 25 deg C /Welding and brazing fumes/
Biomedical Effects and Toxicity
Pharmacological Action:
- Drugs used to treat or prevent skin disorders or for the routine care of skin.
- Chemical or physical agents that protect the skin from sunburn and erythema by absorbing or blocking ultraviolet radiation.
Therapeutic Uses:
Mesh Heading: Dermatologic agents, sunscreening agents
It has mild astringent and antiseptic action. It is used in skin diseases and infections such as eczema, impetigo, ringworm, varicose ulcers, pruritus, and psoriasis.
/Zinc oxide paste with salicylic acid is frequently used/ in treatment of athlete's foot and other dermatomycoses. Presence of zinc oxide imparts astringent and protective property to this paste. Astringent action is desired to reduce inflammation and to close fissures. /Zinc oxide paste with salicylic acid/
It is also used in dental cements and temporary fillings.
MEDICATION (VET): Used as feed additive source of zinc. Its biological availabilty seems adequate for cattle, swine, and chickens, but may be poor for poults.
MEDICATION (VET): Oral use in cattle controls development of horn fly and face fly larvae in manure. An insecticidal adjuvant often used in high concentrations against screwworms and ear ticks. Its use in many compounds helps make them mildew resistant.
THERAP CAT; Astringent; topical protectant; ultraviolet screen.
THERAP CAT (VET): Antiseptic; astringent; topical protectant
Sunscreen agents are indicated for the prevention of sunburn. In addition to limiting the skin's exposure to the sun, using sunscreen agents regularly when in the sun may help reduce long-term sun damage such as premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. /Included in US product labeling; Sunscreen agents/
Daily use of a sunscreen with a high SPF (greater than 15) on usually exposed skin is recommended for residents of areas of high /solar radiation/ who work outdoors or /enjoy/ regular outdoor recreation. Daily use of a sunscreen can reduce the cumulative /solar/ exposure that causes actinic keratoses and squamous-cell carcinoma.
MEDICATION (VET): Dietary supplementation with 2500 ppm ZnO for up to two weeks after weaning appears to be potentially beneficial in the prevention of postweaning diarrhea in pigs. [Jensen-Waern M et al; Res Vet Sci 64 (3): 225-31 (1998)]
Biomedical Effects and Toxicity:
Urinary and blood exam /in workers in maufacturing of zinc oxide compound/ indicated that zinc was absorbed and excreted in amont higher than normal, from 0.12-3.93 mg/100 cc in urine (normal average estimated as 1.06 mg); Fecal Zn also high, but this represented to considerable extent Zn swallowed and passed through GI tract unabsorbed.
Absorption occurs across broken epithelium when zinc oxide is applied to treat burns or wounds.
An increase in serum Zn2+ levels was observed in 8 patients suffering from second and third degree burns, who were treated with adhesive zinc-tape (ca 7.5 g ZnO/100 g dry weight). The maximum value (up to 28.3 umol/litre) was reached within 3 to 8 days during treatment. It is noted that the absorption through intact skin cannot be assessed based on this study with burn patients.
Application of zinc oxide dressings (containing 250 ug Zn2+/sq cm) to rats for 48 hours with full-thickness skin excision resulted in a 12% delivery of zinc ions from the dressing to each wound, while application of zinc sulphate dressings (containing 66 ug Zn2+/sq cm) resulted in a 65% delivery of ions to each wound. The application of zinc oxide resulted in sustained delivery of zinc ions causing constant wound-tissue zinc cation levels due to its slow dissociation rate, while the more water soluble zinc sulphate delivers zinc ions more rapidly to the wound fluid with subsequent rapid transferral into the blood /was suggested/.
After inhalation exposure (nasal) to zinc oxide aerosol, zinc retention in the lungs of guinea pigs ((ZnO) 11.3 mg/cu m, 3 hr) was 19.8%; in rats ((ZnO) 4.3 mg/cu m, 3 hr), 11.5%; and in rabbits ((ZnO) 6 mg/cu m, 6 hr), 4.7%.
Zinc salts are not equal in solubility, which is important in zinc absorption. The solubility of zinc salts is affected by gastric pH. Healthy subjects were given a single oral dose of 50 mg elemental zinc as the oxide salt under either high (pH > 5) or low (pH
The dermal absorption of (65)Zn2+ from ZnCl2 and ZnO was studied by applying the zinc preparations under occlusion on the shaven, but intact skin on the back of male Sprague Dawley rats. The zinc absorption, being the ration between (65)Zn-activity in the carcass, liver and gastrointestinal tract, and the (65)Zn-activity in carcass, liver, gastrointestinal tract, skin and bandage, was reported to range from 1.6 to 6.1%. It should be noted that the higher percentages (3.6 to 6.1%) were achieved after application of ZnCl2 in acidic solution (pH = 1). Less acidic solutions with ZnCl2 or with ZnO resulted in a dermal absorption of less than 2%. In this study only the absorption into the body, excluding the skin, was determined. No data were available as to the effect of zinc chloride solutions with pH = 1 on dermal integrity.
In a time course experiment male Wistar rats (3/group) received a single intratracheal instillation of 0.4 mL zinc oxide suspension (zinc oxide particles
Groups of three rats received single intratracheal installations of zinc oxide suspension at the dose of 100 mg/rat. The half-life of zinc oxide was calculated to be 14 hr. Most of the recovered Zn in the lavage fluid was present in the supernatant of bonchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). This suggests that zinc oxide particles might be solubilized rapidly in the bronchoalveolar fluid. When rats received 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1000 mg Zn/rat and were killed 2 days later, the percentage of Zn retained in the lung increased with the dose, but at doses lower than 50 Zn mg/rat, exogenous Zn was not observed 2 days after installation. It indicates that the rat lung was able to clear zinc oxide particles up to a dose of 50 mg Zn/rat at least within 2 days. In doses higher than 200, Zn was retreived proportionally to the dose of zinc oxide in both the supernatant and the pellet of BALF. It has been suggested that at doses higher than 200 mg Zn/rat solublization of zinc oxide particles in the bronchoalveolar fluid might play a major role in the clearance rate of zinc oxide from the lung.
Contrary to cadmium, the protective role of matallothionein (MT) as sequestrating factor may be much less sigificant in the case of zinc. The maximal MT content after instillation of 100 mg Zn/rat was about 6 mg greater than the control level. Such amount of MT could bind about 0.5 mg of zinc, which corresponds to only 0.5% of the initial dose of zinc.
A total of 24 workers whose exposure ranged from 2 to 35.5 years were selected. In most work areas the mean zinc concentrations were generally below 35 mg/cu m, except in the zinc dust plant where concentrations of up to 130 mg/cu m were measured. The average level of zinc in whole blood of the 24 exposed workers was 458 ug/100 mL, compared with 387 ug/100 mL in 10 controls. No information was given about the control subjects.
Induction of matallothionein (MT) in the lung was observed 2 days after instillation of zinc oxide. The concentration of MT was proportional to the dose amounting to 7.8 mg/lung at the dose of 100 mg Zn/rat and to 29 mg/lung at the dose of 1000 mg Zn/rat. The possibility of induction of MT as result of inhalation exposure to ZnO was also confirmed. Exposures of rats to 5 and 2.5 mg/zinc oxide/cu m resulted in peak eight-fold increases in MT mRNA levels immediately after exposure, while 1 mg zinc oxide/cu m exposure caused a 3.5-fold elevation in MT mRNA. These levels returned to approximate control gene expression values 24 hr after exposure. Contrary to cadmium, the protective role of MT as sequestrating factor may be much less sigificant in the case of zinc. The maximal MT content after instillation of 100 mg Zn/rat was about 6 mg greater than the control level. Such amount of MT could bind about 0.5 mg of zinc, which corresponds to only 0.5% of the initial dose of zinc.
Sunscreen containing 10% zinc oxide (refers to a protection factor 20-25): By an application of 9 g sunscreen/event, 3 events/day during 18 days/year the exposure will be 1,332 mg sunscreen/day, being 107 mg Zn2+/day. Assuming a dermal absorption of 2% the uptake is estimated to be 2.14 mg Zn2+/ day,
The absorption of zinc from soluble zinc acetate, zinc sulfate, zinc aminoate, zinc methionine and insoluble zinc oxide was compared in ten human volunteers who were dosed orally with 50 mg Zn in various forms separated by two weeks intervals. Bioavailability of zinc from the various forms was compared on the basis of plasma zinc levels and area under the plasma curve analysis. Plasma peak levels were observed after about 2.5 hr for all forms, but maximal plasma Zn concentration amounted to 221 and 225 ug/dL for the acetate and the sulphate form while the peak plasma level for Zn from the oxide was only 159 ug/dL. When AUC values for the different zinc forms were compared, it appeared that the bioavailability of zinc oxide was about 60% of the bioavailability of the soluble forms.
ZnO, zinc omadine, zinc sulfate and zinc undecylenate (131 uCi/mole of 65Zn2+) were used for topical application on shaved skin on the back of rabbits. Each application consisted of 2.5 mg Zn-compound containing 5 uCi 65Zn2+. Two animals received one application on four skin areas left of the spine, while the four skin areas on the right side received two applications, the second one 24 hours after the first one. The rabbits were killed 6 and 24 hours after the second application. One rabbit served as control animal. No significant differences were found in the amount and location of 65Zn2+ in skin treated with 4 different zinc compounds. High concentrations of 65Zn2+ were observed in the cortical and cuticle zones of the hair shaft, being the highest in the keratogenous zone. Accumulation of 65Zn2+ in epidermis was very low but heavy in the sub dermal muscle layer. Since no different rates of absorption and concentrations of zinc compounds with different oil/water solubility, pH, and molecular weight were seen, it was suggested that the major mode of 65Zn2+ uptake in skin is by diffusion through the hair follicles due to the heavy localization of 65Zn2+ primarily in the hair shaft and hair follicles.
Application of zinc oxide dressings (containing 250 ug Zn2+/sq cm) to rats for 48 hours with full-thickness skin excision resulted in a 12% delivery of zinc ions from the dressing to each wound, while application of zinc sulphate dressings (containing 66 ug Zn2+/sq cm) resulted in a 65% delivery of ions to each wound. The data suggest that the application of zinc oxide resulted in sustained delivery of zinc ions causing constant wound tissue zinc cation levels due to its slow dissociation rate, while the more water soluble zinc sulfate delivers zinc ions more rapidly to the wound fluid with subsequent rapid transferral into the blood.
The systemic absorption from topical application of 40% zinc oxide ointment (with petrolatum) was investigated in healthy subjects and in patients receiving total parenteral nutrition (TPN) for a minimum of 3 days prior to the start of the experiment. TPN is known to result in zinc deficiency (mean decrease 6.6 ug/dL/week), and the longer the period of TPN without zinc supplementation, the greater the decrease in serum zinc concentration. In a controlled, cross over study (on two separate days, one week apart) 6 healthy subjects received a topical application of 100 g of the 40% zinc oxide ointment or 60 g of control ointment (100% white petrolatum base) to the chest, upper legs and lower legs for 3 hours. Each subject fasted for 12 hours before treatment started (only water ad libitum). During the study no food or water was consumed. Blood samples were taken after the 12 hr-fast (baseline value), and at 1, 2 and 3 hours after the start of the topical application. Mean serum Zn2+ concentrations at these time points were 107.3, 116.1, 105.3 and 112.6 ug/dL for the zinc ointment and 115.2, 103.5, 105.5 and 110.5 for the control ointment, respectively. Normal serum zinc concentrations were considered to be in the range of 68 to 136 ug/dL. An increase in serum zinc over the baseline value was observed in 4/6 subjects. In 3 of them, the rise was most pronounced after 1 hour. In 2/6 no increase was observed throughout the treatment. Overall, there was a mean serum Zn2+ increase of 8.8 ug/dL over baseline 1 hour after application. This represented an 8.2% rise in serum zinc, which however was not statistically significant. Six patients received (under occlusion) a topical application of 15 g of the 40% zinc oxide ointment onto the upper legs (10-15 cm) once daily for 8 consecutive days. Blood samples were taken before treatment (baseline value), at 4, 6 and 8 days (just prior to application), and at day 10. The mean baseline level of the patients (88.6 ug/dL) differed significantly from the mean baseline level of the healthy subjects. The mean zinc concentration in the 3 patients that completed the study remained relatively stable over the 10-day period (78-93 ug/dL). It can be concluded that topical applications of 40% zinc oxide ointment did not result in a significant increase in serum zinc concentration in healthy human subjects over a 3-hour period nor in TPN-patients over 10 days. It is theorized by the authors that after topical application zinc is locally absorbed and stored in the hair follicles where it is relatively unavailable for immediate systemic absorption in subjects with normal serum zinc concentrations. In subjects that are hypozincemic, there is absorption from the storage depot at a rate sufficient to prevent a decline in serum zinc concentration. It is agreed with the authors that the 3-hour sampling time in normal subjects may have been of insufficient length to allow for appreciable systemic absorption from the storage depot.
.The lung clearance rate of zinc aerosols was determined in male Wistar rats (8/group) 0, 2, 4, 8 and 24 hours after exposure to zinc oxide aerosol at a concentration of 12.8 mg/cu m (mean aerodynamic diameter of 1 um) for 17 hours. The ZnO aerosol was created by pyrolysis of a micronised Zn-acetate aerosol at 500 deg C. 8 Animals were kept in clean air and served as controls. The lungs and trachea of the animals were removed and their zinc content was determined by flame photometry. In comparison with the controls, the lungs of exposed rats were increased in weight (presumably because of oedema), which increase was significant at 8 hours and even more pronounced at 24 hours. The zinc content in the trachea was not uniform but was above control values except after 24 hours. The zinc content in the lungs decreased monoexponential and was 7% of the initial burden after 24 hours. According to the short half-life of 6.3 hours found in this study for the pulmonary zinc content, a fast dissolution of the particles must occur, as the alveolar clearance of an inert Fe2O3 aerosol occurred with a half-life of about 34 hours. It is not clear whether the clearance of Zn from the lungs is affected by the pathological condition of the lungs.
Environmental Fate and Exposure Potential
Environmental Fate/Exposure Summary:
Contamination of pastures with zinc oxide is known to occur in vicinity of works where zinc is produced from its ores & is likely in neighborhood of brass foundries.
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