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Chemical Sampling Information (CSI)
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General Description

Synonyms: Amalox; Cerox-506; Chinese White; Emanay zinc oxide; Emar; Felling zinc oxide; Kadox-25 k-zinc oxide; Ozlo Zincoid; Permanent white; Pigment White 14; Protox type 166 167 168 267 268; Seal-8 white seal 7; Snow white; ZC-X013; Zincite; Zinc peroxide

OSHA IMIS Code Number: Z103

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 1314-13-2

NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: ZH4810000

Department of Transportation Regulation Number (49 CFR 172.101) and Guide: 1516 143

NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Zinc oxide: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):

General Industry: 29 CFR 1910.1000 Z-1 Table -- 5 mg/m3 TWA

Construction Industry: 29 CFR 1926.55 Appendix A -- 5 mg/m3 TWA

Maritime: 29 CFR 1915.1000 Table Z-Shipyards -- 5 mg/m3 TWA

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 2 mg/m3 TWA; 10 mg/m3 STEL - Respirable fraction; see Appendix C, paragraph C

Health Factors

NIOSH Immediately Dangerous To Life or Health Concentration (IDLH): 500 mg/m3

Potential Symptoms: Metal fume fever: chills, muscle ache, fever; dry throat, cough; lassitude (weakness, exhaustion); metallic taste; headache; blurred vision; low back pain; vomiting; malaise (vague feeling of discomfort); chest tightness; dyspnea (breathing difficulty), rales, decreased pulmonary function

Health Effects: Acute systemic toxicity (Metal fume fever) (HE4) Mutagen (HE2)

Affected Organs: Respiratory system


  1. The inhalation of zinc oxide at the PEL concentration for 2 hours by naīve subjects was reported to trigger an inflammatory response involving the release of cytokines thought to mediate the symptoms of metal fume fever (elevated body temperature, myalgia, cough, fatigue) that peaked about 9 hours after exposure. Prior zinc oxide exposure resulted in the development of some tolerance (desensitization) to these effects.
  2. As an essential element, zinc is a cofactor for over 200 biologically important enzymes and has a recommended daily adult allowance of 15 mg.
  3. Zinc oxide is listed by the FDA as a generally recognized as safe nutrient when used in accordance with good manufacturing practice (21 CFR 182.8991)

Literature Basis:

  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Zinc oxide.
  • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Zinc oxide.
  • Fine, J.M., Gordon, T., Chen, L.C., Kinney, P., Falcone, G. and Beckett, W.S.: Metal fume fever: characterization of clinical and plasma IL-6 responses in controlled human exposures to Zinc oxide fume at and below the threshold limit value. J. Occup. Environ. Med. 39(8): 722-726, 1997.
  • Fine, J.M., et al.: Characterization of clinical tolerance to inhaled Zinc oxide in naīve subjects and sheet metal workers. J. Occup. Environ. Med. 42(11): 1085-1091, 2000.
  • Kuschner, W.G., D'Alessandro, A., Wong, H. and Blanc, P.D.: Early pulmonary cytokine responses to Zinc oxide fume inhalation. Environ. Res. 75(1): 7-11, 1997.
  • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Zinc oxide. Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 2358-2360.

Date Last Revised: 04/21/2006

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):

  • sampling media: tared 37-mm diameter low-ash polyvinyl chloride filter preceded by 10 mm Nylon Cyclone
    maximum volume: 816 Liters
    minimum volume: 408 Liters
    maximum flow rate: 1.7 L/min
    current analytical method: Gravimetric
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA PV2121)
    method classification: Partially Validated
    note: OSHA personnel can obtain tared sampling media from the Salt Lake Technical Center.
    note: If the net weight of the sample yields a concentration below the standard for the substance, the Salt Lake Technical Center will perform no further work on that sample. If the net weight corresponds to an amount greater than the standard, the sample may be analyzed for the appropriate element and the result reported as the substance.
    alternate elemental analytical method: Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma; ICP/DCP-AES
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-125G & OSHA ID-206)
    method classification: Fully Validated
    note: An elemental analysis is performed for total Zinc and reported as the compound. Analytical method does not distinguish between dust and fume.
    alternate elemental analytical method: Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy; AAS
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-121 & OSHA ID-105)
    method classification: Fully Validated
    note: An elemental analysis is performed for total Zinc and reported as the compound. Analytical method does not distinguish between dust and fume.
    alternate analytical method: X-ray diffraction; XRD
    method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-143)
    method classification: Fully Validated
    note: Submit as a separate sample. Analytical method specific for zinc oxide. Analytical method does not distinguish between dust and fume.

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