atomic no. 30, atomic wt. 65.38, metal, row 5, col. 2B, val. 2, orbits 2-8-18-2

{Merck Index - © 1952 by Merck & Co., Inc.}

Zinc. Zn; at. wt. 65.38; at. no. 30; valence 2. Has been known since very early times. Occurs in calamine or zinc spar, sphalerite or zinc blende, zincite, willmite, franklinite, zinc spinel or gahnite; constitutes about 4 X 10–3 % of the crust of the earth. Prepn.: Gowland, Bannister, Metallurgy of the Non-Ferrous Metals, Griffin & Co., Ltd., London, 1930; also: Zinc - Its Manufacture and Uses, Zinc Development Assoc. Publication No. 1, London, 1938; review: Chem. Eng. Mining Rev. 30, 496 (1938).

Bluish-white, lustrous metal; hexagonal lattice; stable in dry air; becomes covered with a white coating of basic carbonate on exposure to moist air. When heated to 100-150°, becomes malleable, at 210° becomes brittle and pulverizable. Burns in air with a bluish-green flame; in. 419.4°; b. 907°; d. 7.14. Pure zinc is very slowly attacked by dil. sulfuric or hydrochloric acid; the presence of a small amount of another metal, e.g., copper, tin, lead, accelerates the action of the acids. Slowly soluble in acetic acid; soluble in nitric acid. Slowly soluble in ammonia water; readily soluble in solns. of fixed alkali hydroxides with evolution of hydrogen.

Commercial zinc is available in form of ingots, lumps, sheets, wire, shot, strips, sticks, granules, mossy, and powder (dust).

Use: Galvanizing sheet iron; as ingredient of alloys such as bronze, brass, Babbitt metal, German silver, and special alloys for die-casting; as a protective coating for other metals to prevent corrosion; for electrical apparatus, especially dry cell batteries, household utensils, castings, printing plates; building materials, railroad car linings, automotive equipment; as reducer (in form of the powder) in the manufacture of indigo and other vat dyes; for deoxidizing bronze; extracting gold by the cyanide process, purifying fats for soaps; bleaching bone glue; manuf. sodium hydrosulfite; as reagent in analytical chemistry, e.g., in the Marsh and Gutzeit test for arsenic; as a reducer in the determination of iron.

Commercially available.

Toxicity: Inhalation of fumes may result in sweet taste, throat dryness, cough, weakness, generalized aching, chills, fever, nausea and vomiting. Zinc chloride fumes have caused injury to mucous membranes and pale gray cyanosis. Ingestion of sol. salts may cause nausea, vomiting and purging.

Max. allowable concn. for prolonged periods 15 mg./ cu. in. of zinc as oxide.

{Mineral Deficiencies in Plants}

Although specific functions have not been determined for this element, here again the evidence points to their roles as catalysts and regulators. Like iron and manganese, these two elements have been suggested as of importance in oxidation-reduction reactions. Deficiencies of both are associated with chlorosis and a serious general collapse of vital growth processes. Since catalysts are not used up in the chemical reactions which they promote, we can understand how it comes about that quite small or even minute of the "trace elements", iron, manganese, boron, zinc and copper, may nevertheless be essential to the plant's health and growth.

Doctors at Loyola University Medical School in Chicago and the Carl Pheiffer Treatment Center have reported that violent males between the ages of 3 and 18 commonly have elevated copper and reduced zinc blood levels when compared to nonviolent males. Depression and schizophrenia also have links to high copper levels. — Zinc and copper balance each other. Increasing zinc levels reduces the toxic effects of too much copper in plants and humans.

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