CAW National Council 4000
Occupational Health and Safety

Hazardous Substances:  Zinc Oxide

Zinc oxide fume can create ill-health effects if inhaled.


Zinc oxide fume causes a flu-like illness called metal fume fever. Symptoms of metal fume fever include headache, fever, chills,
muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and tiredness. The symptoms usually start several hours after exposure. The attack
may last 6 to 24 hours. Metal fume fever is more likely to occur after a period away from the job (after weekends or vacations). High
levels of exposure to zinc oxide fume may cause a metallic or sweet taste in the mouth, dryness and irritation of the throat, and
coughing at the time of exposure.


Enclose process
Local exhaust ventilation
General dilution ventilation
Personal protective equipment.


Fume: WCB & ACGIH TLV 8 hour maximum 5 mg/m3.
Dust: WCB & ACGIH TLV 8 hour maximum 10 mg/m3.

Source:  CAW Health, Safety & Environment Department