Zinc Information



Other Names

Zinc Dust

Chemical Formula


CAS Number

7440 – 66 – 6

Industry Uses

Coatings; Paint, Rubber, Dyes; Alloys; Dietary Supplement

Health Risks

Organ System Damage


What is Zinc?

Zinc is an essential mineral, both for prenatal and postnatal development. Zinc deficiency has been linked to major depressive disorder. Zinc is used as a supplement to treat the common cold, and diarrhea for children in developing countries. Zinc deposits are present in much of the earth's crust. The metal provides an effective coating for steel and is useful as an alloying agent. Zinc salts are useful as corrosion inhibitors in cooling water treatment formulations. Zinc compounds are widely used to make paint, rubber, dyes, wood preservatives, and ointments. Zinc compounds are hazardous waste products. Zinc can catch fire spontaneously when exposed to air and when in contact with water, it releases flammable gases that are flammable. Zinc is very toxic to aquatic life and leaves long-lasting damage.

Zinc Exposure and Health Risks

Although Zinc is essential for good health, excess levels are harmful. Too much zinc suppresses the ability to absorb copper and iron. The presence of Zinc in water above the EPA Standard will cause a metallic taste in the water. Prolonged or severe exposure to Zinc can cause damage to the gastrointestinal system and the total respiratory tract (from nose to lungs). There is also evidence that Zinc exposure can affect the formation of blood in the body. The FDA states that Zinc can damage the nerve receptors in the nose, leading to anosmia. Zinc is also very poisonous to aquatic life, so monitoring Zinc levels in water is very important.


The table below summarizes the most-recent standards.




5 mg/L

Max. Secondary Drinking Water Standard


Sources: EPA

Measuring Zinc

Dissolved Zinc concentration in water can be measured in units of parts per million (ppm). We carry instrumental kits from CHEMetrics that determine Zinc levels in water. All of our Zinc products can be viewed HERE.

The Vacu-vials Zinc Kits are designed to accurately measure zinc levels in water using the Zincon Method.

The K-9923 Zinc Vacu-vials Kit is used to measure zinc levels in wine from 0-15ppm.

The K-9903 Zinc Vacu-vials Kit is used to measure zinc levels in wine from 0-3ppm.

Contact us for help choosing the right monitor for your application