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Zinc chloride's effects on humans

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PostSubject: Zinc chloride's effects on humans Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:35 am

Zinc chloride fume is an irritant of the eyes, skin, mucous membranes, and lungs in humans. Exposure to a fume concentration of 120 mg/m(3) for 2 minutes produced irritation of the nose, throat, and chest; exposure to an 80-mg/m(3) concentration for 2 minutes caused nausea and occasional coughing [Sittig 1985, p. 939]. In a group of 70 workers exposed to an unspecified concentration of zinc chloride fume that had been accidentally released from a smoke generator, 10 developed severe pulmonary edema and died immediately or within a few hours of the exposure. Twenty-five of these workers developed bronchopneumonia, respiratory inflammation, conjunctivitis, irritation of the nose and throat, cough, shortness of breath, chest tightness and chest pain, nausea, and epigastric pain [Proctor, Hughes, and Fischman 1988, p. 514]. One fatal case of acute interstitial pulmonary fibrosis has been attributed to exposure to zinc chloride fume; this death occurred after a firefighter accidentally inhaled an unspecified amount of this substance. The patient complained of nausea, sore throat, chest tightness, and fever; within 18 days, he died of advanced pulmonary fibrosis and acute cor pulmonale [ACGIH 1986, p. 643; Proctor, Hughes, and Fischman 1988, p. 514]. In another case, a 19-year-old man complained of cough, abdominal cramps, and vomiting immediately and 24 hours after accidental exposure to zinc chloride fume. He developed shortness of breath, fever, and tachycardia and died 11 days later [ACGIH 1986, p. 643]. Contact of the skin with zinc chloride dust can cause primary dermatitis and chemical burns [Rom 1983, p. 503]. Dilute zinc chloride solutions cause no eye damage, but accidental splashes of concentrated solutions have caused permanent corneal opacities [Grant 1986, pp. 986-987].
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