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Zirconium Compounds Toxicity

Introduction

Zirconium (Zr) constitutes about 0.2% of the earth's crust, common minerals bind zircon, zirconium dioxide and zirconates.

Uses

Typical Compounds

Occupational exposures

Potential occupational exposures to zirconium may be encountered during:

Toxicology

Zirconium compounds are generally considered to be of low toxicity.

Skin

Granulomata have been produced by repeated topical applications of zirconium salts to human skin.

Zirconium compounds are commonly used in antiperspirants and thus sometimes cause granulomata of the axillary skin. Aluminium zirconium compounds, which are mainly used today, are considered to be safer in this regard.

Lungs

Studies among workers exposed to zirconium compounds fumes have failed to demonstrate adverse pulmonary effects.

However, a recent report shows that severe pulmonary fibrosis containing high concentrations of several zirconium compounds occurred in a worker polishing and blocking lenses in an optical company.

Eyes

In my personal experience I have encountered a corneal burn with a subsequent scar in a titanium dioxide plant caused by the ocular projection of a small drop of liquid zirconium sulfate at the place where it was introduced into the process.

Quebec's exposure limit

VEMP (Valeur d'Exposition Moyenne Pondérée) = 5mg/m³

References

  1. Occupational Medicine,Carl Zenz, last edition.
  2. Clinical Environmental Health and Toxic Exposures, Sullivan & Krieger; last edition.
  3. Sax's Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials, Lewis C., last edition.
  4. Toxicologie Industrielle et Intoxications Professionnelles, Lauwerys R.R. last edition.
  5. Chemical Hazards of the Workplace, Proctor & Hughes, 4th edition

Related Information

Links

Hazards Zirconium Encapsulated Stains Toxicity
Materials Magnesium Zirconium Silicate
Materials Zircon
Materials Zircopax
Materials Superpax
Typecodes Article by Edouard Bastarache
Edouard Bastarache is a well known doctor that has written many articles on the subject of toxicity of ceramic materials and books on technical aspects of ceramics. He writes in both English and French.
People Edouard Bastarache

By Edouard Bastarache


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