Pollutant Information: Zinc
Category: Heavy metals and base cations
Although zinc poses no documented health risks, if its physical state is altered during use then health risks can be created. Inhalation of metallic oxide fumes can lead to metal fume fever. Emissions of zinc have declined by 71% since 1970. The main sources in 2015 were metal production, industrial combustion and road transport. Emissions arising from road transport include those from tyre wear which contributed 17% of total zinc emissions in 2015. This arises from the zinc content of the tyre rubber – around 2% ZnO by weight. The reduction in emissions over this period is largely due to the decline in coal combustion, improvements in abatement measures in the metal industries and the closure of the UK's only primary zinc manufacturing plant.
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