Zinc is used in galvanising iron and steel, and as an alloy of brass and bronze. Inhalation of zinc oxide fumes produced during welding can cause metal fume fever characterised by nausea, headaches, muscular and joint pain, shortness of breath, thirst and a cough. These symptoms develop 4-12 hours after exposure and last for 1-2 days. Zinc chloride fumes, which are highly corrosive to skin, eyes and mucous membranes, are produced from welding flux, wood preservatives and the manufacture of high quality paper, dyes and deodorants. It is also used in smoke screens.
Plasma zinc levels are thought to follow a circadian pattern, with the highest values occurring in the morning at approximately 10.00 am.
Sample timing is not critical for occupational exposure
Aliquot for UCRN to Core Laboratory
Ambient (8 - 24 degrees Celsius)
Reports issued by Canterbury Health laboratories will have results along with current Normal population Reference Intervals (RI).
For interpretation against Biological exposure indexes (BEI) please refer to the latest Worksafe’s : Biological Exposure Index (BEI) review.
See link in “Additional Information” tab below for Workplace Exposure Standards on the Worksafe.govt.nz website
Biological Reference ranges:
Urine Zinc 2.3 – 19 umol/24hr
Random ref range 0.4 – 17.4 umol/L
Zinc/Creatinine ratio 0.1 – 1.4 umol/mmol
To convert urine zinc umol/L to ug/L multiply by 65.
For example 10 umol/L = 650 ug/L (1 ppb)
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