|Monthly Tech-Tip |
Zirconium (Zr) constitutes about 0.2% of the earth's crust, common minerals bind zircon, zirconium dioxide and zirconates.
Potential occupational exposures to zirconium may be encountered during:
Zirconium compounds are generally considered to be of low toxicity.
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.
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.
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.
VEMP (Valeur d'Exposition Moyenne Pondérée) = 5mg/m³
By Edouard Bastarache
Zirconium Encapsulated Stains Toxicity
Magnesium Zirconium Silicate
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.