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SECTION 1. CHEMICAL IDENTIFICATION

CHEMINFO Record Number: 467
CCOHS Chemical Name: Zinc chloride

Synonyms:
Butter of zinc
Zinc chloride, anhydrous
Zinc dichloride
Zinc butter

Chemical Name French: Chlorure de zinc
Chemical Name Spanish: Cloruro de cinc
CAS Registry Number: 7646-85-7
UN/NA Number(s): 2331 1840
RTECS Number(s): ZH1400000
EU EINECS/ELINCS Number: 231-592-0
Chemical Family: Zinc and compounds / inorganic zinc compound / zinc salt / chloride
Molecular Formula: Cl2-Zn
Structural Formula: Zn.Cl2

SECTION 2. DESCRIPTION

Appearance and Odour:
White odourless, GRANULAR crystals or crystalline powder; deliquescent (absorbs moisture from the air and forms wet solid or solution).(15)

Odour Threshold:
Not applicable

Warning Properties:
Information not available for evaluation.

Composition/Purity:
Zinc chloride is sold as 47.4 and 62.5 wt % water solutions and is also produced in solid form as an anhydrous crystalline salt, granules or as a solid in fused form.(16,19) In solid form, zinc chloride is commercially available in different grades with purity from 95-99.999% (ultra-dry). The impurities present include iron and manganese, water and zinc oxychloride.(14,16) It is also available as a 0.5 molar solution in tetrahydrofuran and 1 molar solution in diethyl ether.(31) The term zinc chloride fume or zinc chloride smoke is often used to refer to the mixture of airborne chemicals produced by a type of smoke bomb used in firefighting exercises, crowd dispersal and as a screening smoke in the military. This airborne smoke is produced by igniting a mixture of zinc oxide and hexachloroethane. Please note that the hazards of this smoke are not addressed in this CHEMINFO review.

Uses and Occurrences:
Zinc chloride is used in carbon-zinc batteries; as a galvanizing flux; in zinc electroplating; as a wood and textile preservative; as a catalyst, and dehydrating and condensing agent in organic synthesis; as a desiccant; as a catalyst in the manufacture of polyester-polyether resins and in coal liquefaction; in glues and adhesives; as an astringent in cosmetics; in burnishing and polishing compounds for steel; in embalming and taxidermy fluids; in rubber vulcanization; in oil refining; in fireproofing; in glass etching; in petroleum drilling fluids; in coal cleaning; in mercerizing cotton; in sizing and weighting fabrics; in swelling fibres; as a mordant in dyeing; in the manufacture of parchment paper; as a resist for sulfur colors, albumin colors, and para red; as a solvent for the co-polymerization of acrylonitrile; as a herbicide; as a treatment against animal pathogenic bacteria in toilet bowls and urinals; as a bacteriostat; and in the manufacture of ion-exchange resins.(15,16,19)
In medicine, zinc chloride is used in antiseptic and deodorant preparations (up to 2% solution), disinfectants; and in dental cements.(19)
Zinc chloride is a primary ingredient in smoke used for crowd dispersal, in firefighting exercises, and by the military forces for screening purposes.(32)


SECTION 3. HAZARDS IDENTIFICATION

EMERGENCY OVERVIEW:
White odourless, granular crystals or crystalline powder; deliquescent (absorbs moisture from the air and forms wet solid or solution). Will not burn or support combustion. During a fire, corrosive and toxic hydrogen chloride gas and zinc oxide fume may be generated by thermal decomposition or combustion. CORROSIVE to the eyes and skin. May cause blindness, severe burns and permanent scarring.



POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS

Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure

Inhalation:
Zinc chloride powder is unlikely to become airborne because it rapidly absorbs moisture forming a wet solid. Mists formed from solutions are probably severely irritating to the nose and throat, because zinc chloride is corrosive.
Prolonged or severe exposure may lead to a potentially fatal accumulation of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema). Symptoms of pulmonary edema (chest pain and shortness of breath) can be delayed up to 24 or 48 hours after exposure.
There is no specific human information available for zinc chloride, but severe lung damage has been observed in animals exposed to very high concentrations of zinc chloride aerosols.
The term zinc chloride fume or zinc chloride smoke is often used to refer to the mixture of airborne chemicals produced by a type of smoke bomb used in firefighting exercises and as a screening smoke in the military. Igniting a mixture of zinc oxide and hexachloroethane produces this airborne smoke. While this smoke is generally referred to as "zinc chloride", it is a mixture of many different chemicals including zinc chloride, zinc oxychloride, phosgene, tetrachloroethylene, carbon tetrachloride, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hexachloroethane.(30) The hazards of this smoke are not addressed in this CHEMINFO review. However, the effects include symptoms from slight respiratory distress to pulmonary edema, acute respiratory distress and death. (13,30,32)

Skin Contact:
Contact with the powders or solutions can cause severe irritation or corrosive effects, based on animal information and the pH of solutions. Corrosive materials can cause severe skin injury with ulceration, blistering and permanent scarring.
Zinc can be absorbed into the body following application of zinc chloride to the skin, based on animal information. However, there is no evidence that harmful effects can result by this route of exposure.

Eye Contact:
Zinc chloride powder or solutions can cause corrosive injury, based on human evidence, limited animal information and the pH of solutions. The degree of injury depends on the concentration of the solution and the duration and extent of contact with the eye. In severe cases, permanent eye injury, including blindness, could result.
Very dilute solutions (up to 1%) are non-irritating and have been used as eye drops. Very severe eye injury has been reported in cases where concentrated solutions and pastes were accidentally splashed into the eye. In some cases, the effects were not fully reversible.(2, unconfirmed)

Ingestion:
Zinc chloride is corrosive and ingestion can result in severe injury to the mouth, throat and stomach. Death has reportedly resulted after ingestion of a few grams of zinc chloride, although in another case recovery occurred after ingestion of 90 grams.(27, unconfirmed) Like other zinc compounds, ingestion of large amounts can cause anemia and stomach symptoms (including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and, in severe cases, vomiting of blood), based on human and animal information.(18,24,25,32) In one case of accidental ingestion, burning and pain in the throat and mouth, abdominal pain and vomiting, and enzyme levels suggestive of acute pancreatitis resulted from accidental ingestion of 3 ounces of a zinc chloride solution (concentration not specified) by a 24-year old man.(57) Other case studies of ingestion of zinc compounds have also found increases in pancreatic enzymes.(29,32)
Zinc is an essential nutrient to humans and animals. Both zinc deficiency and overexposure to zinc by ingestion have been associated with toxic effects.(18) Ingestion is not a typical route of occupational exposure.

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure

Zinc chloride is corrosive and long-term exposure is expected to be limited due to the severe irritant effects of this chemical.

Zinc is a very important trace element for humans. It is an important constituent of many enzymes and other proteins and has an essential role in many processes of normal growth and development. For zinc compounds in general, a number of reversible harmful effects (red and white blood cell deficiencies (anemia and leukopenia), headache and stomach symptoms, and copper deficiency) have resulted from long-term ingestion (doses as low as 2 mg zinc/kg/day), based on non-occupational human reports and animal information.(18,24,29)

Respiratory Sensitization:
There is insufficient information available to conclude that zinc chloride is an occupational sensitizer.
A case report of occupational asthma in a 19-year-old, non-smoking woman who was exposed daily to fumes from solder flux composed of zinc chloride and ammonium chloride was located. All symptoms disappeared when she was removed from exposure. She had no personal history of asthma, but her father and brother had histories of allergies.(28) Two other cases attributable to soft solder flux containing zinc and ammonium chlorides have been described.(60) In all of these cases, exposure was not to zinc chloride alone, but was a combined exposure to the all of the components of the solder flux.

Skin:
Repeated or prolonged contact may cause dry, red, and cracked skin (dermatitis), due to the corrosiveness of zinc chloride.

Skin Sensitization:
Zinc chloride is not an occupational skin sensitizer.
One non-occupational case report describes sensitization to zinc chloride in a woman who developed dermatitis, headache, excessive sweating and lethargy after receiving a zinc-containing dental filling. Patch testing indicated that zinc chloride was the allergen. However, it is considered a very rare allergen.(23) No occupational case reports were located.

Blood/Blood Forming System:
Conclusions cannot be drawn from a single historical case report of a 34-year-old man whose hands and forearms were exposed to zinc chloride powder and the 34% water solution, which he made up 3 times a week for 4 years. He was also likely exposed to the zinc chloride by inhalation of a steam that was formed. He experienced leg pains, anemia, fatigue, loss of appetite and loss of weight, which improved when he was removed from the zinc exposure.(22)

Carcinogenicity:

Zinc and its compounds are not known to be carcinogenic. There is no human information available for zinc chloride. Zinc chloride did not cause a promoting effect following administration with known carcinogens, based on animal information. No conclusions can be drawn from an unconfirmed, limited study using mice.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has not evaluated the carcinogenicity of this chemical.

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has not assigned a carcinogenicity designation to this chemical.

The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) has not listed this chemical in its report on carcinogens.

Teratogenicity and Embryotoxicity:
There is no human information or relevant animal information available for zinc chloride. In general, zinc compounds are not known to cause developmental toxicity in the absence of maternal toxicity.

Reproductive Toxicity:
There is no human information available for zinc chloride. It is not possible to conclude that zinc chloride is a reproductive toxin, based on the available animal information. The studies are mostly limited by small animal numbers or provide inadequate details for evaluation. In one study, which was limited by small animal numbers, ingestion of zinc chloride caused reduced fertility at doses that caused other significant harmful effects.

Mutagenicity:
There is no human information available for zinc chloride. It is not possible to conclude that zinc chloride is mutagenic, based on the available animal information. A negative result was obtained in a test using live mice exposed orally. Other studies with live animals used routes of exposure that are not relevant to occupational situations. Both positive and negative results were obtained in tests with cultured mammalian cells and bacteria. A positive result was obtained in fruit flies (Drosophila).

Toxicologically Synergistic Materials:
When zinc is absorbed into the body, it interacts with other trace elements, especially copper. It also competes with other metals, such as lead or mercury, which may sometimes reduce the harmful effects of these metals.

Potential for Accumulation:
Zinc can accumulate in the body. Intestinal absorption of zinc can vary widely following oral administration (in animals ranges of less than 10 to over 90% are reported) and is influenced by age and a number of dietary factors. Zinc is stored mainly in the muscle and bone, and also in the prostate, liver, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, skin, lung, brain, heart and pancreas.(58,59) In humans ingesting normal amounts of zinc, the reported half-lives ranged from 100-500 days.(58) The body regulates the amount of zinc stored by decreasing absorption and increasing excretion when intake is increased.(29) It is excreted mainly in the feces.(58)


SECTION 4. FIRST AID MEASURES

Inhalation:
Remove source of contamination or move victim to fresh air. If breathing is difficult, trained personnel should administer emergency oxygen. DO NOT allow victim to move about unnecessarily. Symptoms of pulmonary edema can be delayed up to 48 hours after exposure. Immediately obtain medical attention.

Skin Contact:
Avoid direct contact with this chemical. Wear chemical protective clothing, if necessary. As quickly as possible, remove contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods (e.g. watchbands, belts). Immediately flush with lukewarm, gently flowing water for at least 30 minutes. DO NOT INTERRUPT FLUSHING. If necessary, and it can be done safely, continue flushing during transport to emergency care facility. Quickly transport victim to an emergency care facility. Double bag, seal, label and leave contaminated clothing, shoes and leather goods at the scene for safe disposal.

Eye Contact:
Avoid direct contact. Wear chemical protective gloves, if necessary. Immediately flush the contaminated eye(s) with lukewarm, gently flowing water for at least 30 minutes, while holding the eyelid(s) open. If a contact lens is present, DO NOT delay irrigation or attempt to remove the lens. Neutral saline solution may be used as soon as it is available. DO NOT INTERRUPT FLUSHING. If necessary, continue flushing during transport to emergency care facility. Take care not to rinse contaminated water into the unaffected eye or onto the face. Quickly transport victim to an emergency care facility.

Ingestion:
NEVER give anything by mouth if victim is rapidly losing consciousness, or is unconscious or convulsing. Have victim rinse mouth thoroughly with water. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Have victim drink 60 to 240 mL (2 to 8 oz) of water. If vomiting occurs naturally, have victim rinse mouth with water again. Quickly transport victim to an emergency care facility.

First Aid Comments:
Provide general supportive measures (comfort, warmth, rest).
Consult a doctor and/or the nearest Poison Control Centre for all exposures except minor instances of inhalation or skin contact.
Some first aid procedures recommended above require advanced first aid training. Protocols for undertaking advanced procedures must be developed in consultation with a doctor and routinely reviewed.
All first aid procedures should be periodically reviewed by a doctor familiar with the material and its conditions of use in the workplace.



SECTION 5. FIRE FIGHTING MEASURES

Flash Point:
Not combustible (does not burn) (33)

Lower Flammable (Explosive) Limit (LFL/LEL):
Not applicable

Upper Flammable (Explosive) Limit (UFL/UEL):
Not applicable

Autoignition (Ignition) Temperature:
Not applicable

Sensitivity to Mechanical Impact:
Probably not sensitive. Stable material.

Sensitivity to Static Charge:
Zinc chloride is unlikely to accumulate static charge. Since it does not burn, it will not be ignited by a static discharge.

Electrical Conductivity:
Not available

Minimum Ignition Energy:
Not applicable

Combustion and Thermal Decomposition Products:
Hydrogen chloride gas, zinc oxide fume and zinc/zinc oxides may be evolved if zinc chloride is involved in a fire.(31)

Fire Hazard Summary:
Zinc chloride does not burn or support combustion. During a fire, corrosive and toxic hydrogen chloride gas may be generated by thermal decomposition or combustion. Closed containers may rupture violently when exposed to fire or excessive heat for sufficient time.

Extinguishing Media:
Zinc chloride is not combustible (does not burn). Use extinguishing media suitable for surrounding fire.

Fire Fighting Instructions:
Evacuate area and fight fire from a safe distance or a protected location. Approach fire from upwind to avoid hazardous vapours and toxic decomposition products.
Closed containers may rupture violently when exposed to the heat of the fire. If possible, isolate materials not yet involved in the fire, and move containers from the fire area if this can be done without risk, and protect personnel. Otherwise, fire-exposed containers, tanks or car/trailer loads should be cooled by application of hose streams. Application should begin as soon as possible (within the first several minutes) and should concentrate on any unwetted portions of the container. Apply water from the side and from a safe distance until well after the fire is out. Take care not to get water inside container. Cooling should continue until well after the fire is out. If this is not possible, use unmanned monitor nozzles and immediately evacuate the area.
Withdraw immediately in case of rising sound from venting safety device or any discolouration of tank. ALWAYS stay away from the ends of tanks, but be aware that flying material (shrapnel) from ruptured tanks may travel in any direction. Tanks or drums should not be approached directly after they have been involved in a fire, until they have been completely cooled down.

Protection of Fire Fighters:
The decomposition products of zinc chloride are corrosive and hazardous to health. Do not enter without wearing specialized protective equipment suitable for the situation. Firefighter's normal protective clothing (Bunker Gear) will not provide adequate protection. Chemical resistant clothing (e.g. chemical splash suit) and positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (NIOSH approved or equivalent) may be necessary.



NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION (NFPA) HAZARD IDENTIFICATION

NFPA - Comments:
NFPA has no listing for this chemical in Codes 49 or 325.


SECTION 9. PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL PROPERTIES

Molecular Weight: 136.29

Conversion Factor:
Not applicable

Physical State: Solid
Melting Point: 290 deg C (554 deg F) (14,15,25,32)
Boiling Point: 732 deg C (1349.6 deg F) (14,15,25,32)
Relative Density (Specific Gravity): 2.907 at 25 deg C (water = 1) (14,25,32)
Solubility in Water: Extremely soluble (432 g/100 mL at 25 deg C) (14,19,32)
Solubility in Other Liquids: Very soluble in ethanol (76 g/100 mL) and glycerol (50 g/100 mL); freely soluble in acetone and other ketones.(14) Soluble in diethyl ether and other ethers, esters, amides and nitrides.(15,19)
Coefficient of Oil/Water Distribution (Partition Coefficient): Log P(oct) = 0.15 (estimated) (34)
pH Value: 4.0 (10% water solution) (14); 1.0 (6 molar (approx. 80% water solution)) (19)
Acidity: Water solutions are acidic.(14, 19)
Viscosity-Dynamic: Not applicable
Surface Tension: Not applicable
Vapour Density: Not applicable
Vapour Pressure: Practically zero at room temperature.
Saturation Vapour Concentration: Not applicable
Evaporation Rate: Not applicable
Henry's Law Constant: Not available

SECTION 10. STABILITY AND REACTIVITY

Stability:
Normally stable.

Hazardous Polymerization:
Will not occur.

Incompatibility - Materials to Avoid:

NOTE: Chemical reactions that could result in a hazardous situation (e.g. generation of flammable or toxic chemicals, fire or detonation) are listed here. Many of these reactions can be done safely if specific control measures (e.g. cooling of the reaction) are in place. Although not intended to be complete, an overview of important reactions involving common chemicals is provided to assist in the development of safe work practices.


POTASSIUM - a mixture of potassium and zinc chloride is sensitive to mechanical shock and produces a strong explosion on impact.(35,36)
STRONG BASES (e.g. alkali hydroxides) - react vigorously or violently, with the evolution of heat.(33)

Hazardous Decomposition Products:
None reported at normal temperatures.

Conditions to Avoid:
High temperatures

Corrosivity to Metals:
Zinc chloride attacks carbon steel (such as types 1010 and 1020), cast iron, some stainless steels (such as types 303, 310, 321, 400 series), aluminum, bronze, other bronze alloys, such as aluminum bronze, naval bronze, silicon bronze, brass and admiralty brass at normal temperatures. It does not attack high silicon iron, silicon-copper, types 20 Cb-3 and 316 stainless steels, nickel (up to 80% solution), nickel-base alloys, such as Hastelloy, tantalum, titanium and zirconium at normal temperatures.(37,38,39)

Corrosivity to Non-Metals:
Zinc chloride attacks plastics, such as nylon, and elastomers, such as polyacrylate, chlorinated polyethylene and polysulfides. It does not attack most plastics, such as acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), acrylics, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC), polyesters, polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and Teflon; elastomers, such as butyl rubber, chloroprene, ethylene-propylene, Viton A and other fluorocarbons, natural rubber, isoprene, neoprene, Nitrile Buna-N (NBR), and silicon rubbers; and coatings, such as epoxy and vinyls.(37,40,41)


SECTION 11. TOXICOLOGICAL INFORMATION

LC50 (rat): approximately 2000 mg/m3 (non-statistical estimation) (10-minute aerosol exposure) (3)
NOTE: This value cannot be reliably converted to a 4-hour LC50, because the exposure duration is too short.

LD50 (oral, male rat): greater than 1000 mg/kg (1/3 died at 1000 mg/kg; 2/3 died at 1500 mg/kg) (66)
LD50 (oral, mouse): 329 mg/kg (1)*
LD50 (oral, rat): 511 mg/kg (1)*
LD50 (oral, rat): 350 mg/kg (67, unconfirmed)
LD50 (oral, guinea pig): 200 mg/kg (67, unconfirmed)
LD50 (oral, male rat): 1100 mg/kg (buffered with sodium carbonate) (65)
LD50 (oral, male mouse): 1250 mg/kg (buffered with sodium carbonate) (65)
*Note: The methods and materials used in this study are poorly described. Therefore, the validity of these values is questionable.

Eye Irritation:

Solutions are expected to be corrosive, based on their corrosivity to skin. Solutions have caused moderate irritation to corrosive injury in rabbit eyes.

Application of 0.1 mL of a 10% solution (carrier not specified) caused moderate irritation in rabbits. The effects were described as penetrating corneal opacity and mild conjunctivitis, which reversed in 7-14 days.(5) In a study, which is not available in English, opacity of the cornea, clouding of the lens and other harmful effects were observed in a rabbit following repeated application of a 50% solution. Harmful effects were still observed 6 days later.(2, unconfirmed)

Skin Irritation:

Solutions have caused corrosive effects (necrosis and ulceration) following prolonged exposure.

Corrosive effects (necrotic erythema and severe edema) were observed in rabbits following application of 0.5 mL of a 10% zinc chloride solution (carrier not specified), under a closed patch, for 24 hours.(5) Severe irritation including ulceration was observed in rabbits and mice following application of 0.5 mL of a 1% solution in water for 5 days (using both open and closed patch for rabbits and using open patch for mice). Moderate irritation was seen in guinea pigs (open patch).(4) This exposure time is longer than what is normally accepted for this type of test.

Effects of Short-Term (Acute) Exposure:

Inhalation:
Rats were exposed for 10 minutes to 1200-3900 mg/m3 zinc chloride, as an aerosol (median diameter 2 microm) generated from 3.7 and 10.3 M zinc chloride solutions. Irritation was not observed during or shortly after exposure, but signs of respiratory distress (e.g. shortness of breath and difficulty breathing) gradually developed. Deaths were observed at 1880 mg/m3 and above. Autopsy showed signs of severe lung injury (pulmonary edema and bleeding).(3)

Skin Contact:
Evidence of absorption through the skin (metallothionein enzyme induction) was observed in rats and guinea pigs following daily application of 5% zinc chloride in liquid paraffin for 2 or 3 days. Some skin irritation was also observed after 2 or 3 applications, but not after a single application.(8) Application of 0.4 mL of an oil preparation containing 7500 ppm zinc chloride to the skin of zinc-deficient female rats for 8-24 hours resulted in sufficient absorption to increase plasma zinc levels to normal concentrations.(43)

Ingestion:
Rats receiving 0.12 mg/mL zinc chloride in their drinking water for 4 weeks had a significant decrease in hemoglobin and in red blood cell counts in both sexes and a significant increase in leukocytes in males. (The approximate dose was 12 mg/kg/day as zinc; or 25 mg/kg/day, as zinc chloride).(9)

Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure:

Ingestion:
In a reproductive toxicity study, rats were given zinc chloride orally at doses of 0, 7.5, 15, or 30 mg/kg/day for 98 days for males and 140 days for females. (Doses were 0, 3.6, 7.2, or 14.3 mg/kg/day, as zinc). Males had a dose-dependent decrease in body weight gain, which was significant at all doses. There were no significant decreases in body weight in females. Harmful effects on the spleen, lesions in the digestive system and a smaller than usual pancreas were seen in both sexes at 15 and 30 mg/kg/day and in the thymus at all doses (statistical evaluation not reported).(21)

Carcinogenicity:
No conclusion can be drawn based on the limited information available.
Zinc chloride did not promote tumour development in the liver, stomach, kidneys, or pancreas of rats or hamsters or on the skin of mice following administration with known carcinogens.(11) No conclusions can be drawn from a study, which is not available in English, involving a 3-year, 5-generation exposure of tumour-resistant and tumour-susceptible strains of mice. The cancer frequency was reported to be higher in animals receiving 10 or 20 mg/kg/day zinc, as zinc chloride, in the drinking water.(6, unconfirmed) No statistical analysis or information on individual tumour types was provided and there was a lack of dose response with the tumour-resistant strain.

Teratogenicity, Embryotoxicity and/or Fetotoxicity:
No conclusions can be drawn from the only study located, since the route of exposure used (intraperitoneal injection) is not relevant to occupational settings.

Reproductive Toxicity:
It is not possible to conclude that zinc chloride is a reproductive toxin, based on the available animal information. The available studies are limited by the small animal numbers or provide inadequate details for evaluation. In one study, which was limited by small animal numbers, ingestion of zinc chloride caused reduced fertility in rats at doses that caused significant other harmful effects.
Rats were given zinc chloride orally at doses of 0, 7.5, 15, or 30 mg/kg/day (0, 3.6, 7.2, or 14.3 mg/kg/day, as zinc) for 77 days before mating and a 21-day mating period. Dosing of females was continued throughout pregnancy and lactation. Males had a dose-dependent decrease in body weight gain, which was significant at all doses. There were no significant decreases in body weight in females. The fertility index was significantly lower than the control for all doses and there was a significant decrease in live pups/litter at 15 and 30 mg/kg/day. Detailed examination of the tissues indicated atrophy of the prostate in 7/10 rats at 15 and 30 mg/kg/day compared to 0/10 for control and 7.5 mg/kg/day groups.(21) This study is limited by small animal numbers (5-9 reproducing pairs). As part of the same study, reported by abstract, 2 offspring/dose group were analyzed for zinc accumulation after weaning. Zinc was found to accumulate to a greater extent in the ovary and thymus.(20, unconfirmed) In a related study, also reported by abstract, mice were given zinc, as zinc chloride, orally at doses of 0, 1.56, 3.13, or 6.25 mg/kg/day for males and 0, 3.13, 6.25 or 12.5 mg/kg/day for females starting 49 days before mating and through a 21 day mating period. (Doses were 0, 3.3, 6.5, or 13 mg/kg/day for males and 0, 6.5, 13, or 26 mg/kg/day for females, as zinc chloride). Dosing of females was continued throughout pregnancy and lactation. Significant decreases in fertility index, litter size and body weight of offspring were found for all doses of zinc chloride.(26, unconfirmed) There are insufficient details available to evaluate this study. Male weanling rats were fed zinc, as zinc chloride, in the diet at concentrations of 4, 12 (normal dietary amount) or 500 mg/kg for 8 weeks. (Approximate doses were 0.24, 0.72 or 30 mg/kg/day, as zinc; or 0.50, 1.5, or 63 mg/kg/day, as zinc chloride). At the high dose, there were no effects on testicular development. A significant negative effect on testicular cells was observed for the diet deficient in zinc (0.50 mg/kg/day, as zinc chloride).(44) In a study, which is limited by small animal numbers (5/group), mice were given 800 ppm zinc, as zinc chloride, in their drinking water for 12 weeks. (The approximate dose was 160 mg/kg/day as zinc; or 335 mg/kg/day, as zinc chloride). There was a significant decrease in body weight gain and testes weight and a non-significant decrease in the epididymal sperm numbers in treated animals. Detailed examination of the testes did not indicate any harmful effects.(12) In a study, reported by abstract, mice were given zinc chloride orally at doses of 0, 0.78, 1.56, or 3.125 mg/kg/day (0, 0.37, 0.75, 1.50 mg/kg/day, as zinc). Males were killed after mating and females after lactation. No significant effects were noted on body weight gain or food consumption. Reported effects were dose-dependent decreases in implantation efficiency and litter size, and at 1.56 and 3.125 mg/kg/day, a decrease in the number of live births.(45, unconfirmed) No statistical evaluation was reported and there are insufficient details available to evaluate this study.

Mutagenicity:
It is not possible to conclude that zinc chloride is mutagenic, based on the available information. A negative result was obtained in a test using live mice exposed to zinc chloride orally. Other in vivo tests have not used relevant routes of exposure.
A negative result (chromosomal aberrations in bone marrow) was observed in a test involving oral administration to mice for 30 days in the diet. When the diet was deficient in calcium, a positive result was obtained.(7,46) Other in vivo tests have used routes of exposure which are not relevant to occupational situations.(10,13,18-unconfirmed)
Positive results (chromosome aberrations) have been obtained in tests with cultured human lymphocytes.(7,47,48,49) Another positive result (DNA damage) was obtained in a test using cultured human cells, in the absence of metabolic activation.(50) A negative result (gene mutation) was obtained in a test with mammalian cells, without metabolic activation.(51) Negative results (gene mutation, DNA repair) were obtained in tests using bacteria, with and without metabolic activation.(52,53,54,55)
A positive result (gene mutation) was obtained in a test using fruit flies (Drosophila).(56)


SECTION 16. OTHER INFORMATION

Selected Bibliography:
(1) Singh, P.P., et al. Behavioural and toxic profile of some essential trace metal salts in mice and rats. Indian Journal of Pharmacology. Vol. 23 (1991). p. 153-159
(2) Grant, W.M. et al. Zinc chloride and zinc sulfate. In: Toxicology of the eye. 4th ed. Charles C Thomas, 1993. p. 1518-1523
(3) Karlsson, N., et al. A comparative study of the acute inhalation toxicity of smoke from TiO2-hexachloroethane and Zn-hexachloroethane pyrotechnic mixtures. Archives of Toxicology. Vol. 59 (1986). p. 160-166
(4) Lansdown, A.B.G. Interspecies variations in response to topical application of selected zinc compounds. Food and Chemical Toxicology. Vol. 29, no. 1 (1991). p. 57-64
(5) Williams, S.J. Prediction of ocular irritancy potential from dermal irritation test results. Food and Chemical Toxicology. Vol. 22, no. 2 (1984). p. 157-161
(6) US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Zinc and compounds. Last Significant Revision: 1992-01-10. In: Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Available from World Wide Web: <http://www.epa.gov/iris/subst/index.ht>
(7) Deknudt, Gh. Etude des effets clastogéniques du zinc chez les mammifères. Compte Rendus des Séances de la Société Belge de Biologie et de ses Filiales. Vol. 176 (27 fév. 1982). p. 563-567
(8) Wormser, U. et al. Increased levels of hepatic and renal metallothionein in the rat and guinea pig after percutaneous application of zinc chloride. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. Vol. 46, no. 2 (1991). p. 249-254
(9) Zaporowska, H., et al. Combined effect of vanadium and zinc on certain selected haematological indices in rats. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Vol. 103C, no. 1 (1992). p. 143-147
(10) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Zinc chloride. Last updated: 2002-10. In: Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS(R)). [CD-ROM]. Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). Issue: 2003-1. Also available from World Wide Web: <http://ccinfoweb.ccohs.ca/rtecs/search.html>
(11) Kurokawa, Y. et al. Promoting effect of metal compounds on liver, stomach, kidney, pancreas, and skin carcinogenesis. Journal of the American College of Toxicology. Vol. 8, no. 7 (1989). p. 1235-1239
(12) Orisakwe, O.E., et al. Low-dose mercury induces testicular damage protected by zinc in mice. European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology. Vol. 95, no. 1 (Mar. 2001). p. 92-96
(13) American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). Zinc chloride fume. In: Documentation of the Threshold Limit and Biological Exposure Indices. ACGIH, 2001. p. 1-4
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Information on chemicals reviewed in the CHEMINFO database is drawn from a number of publicly available sources. A list of general references used to compile CHEMINFO records is available in the database Help.


Review/Preparation Date: 2005-11-30



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