Zinc in industry
Zinc as a chemical element was discovered in 1500 y. B.C. in Asia. It was recognised in Europe as a separate metal in the XVII century. Zinc is very easy to recycle at all stages of production and use. Recovery of zinc corresponds to ca. 30% of the world supply of this raw material and refers among others to brass elements, galvanized steel from automotive industry or household appliances, waste from other processes (scraps, dust). It is difficult to indicate the real amount of recycled zinc in the world, but it is estimated that nearly 2 million tons is re-used in the industry.
Impact on human being
In the human body it is one of the most important trace elements and is required for the proper functioning of over 300 enzymes and the DNA stability. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends daily intake of ca. 10mg of zinc for children, 12mg for women and 15mg for men. The adult human body has an average of 3 grams of zinc, mainly in the bones and muscles. The main sources of zinc in the diet are beef, poultry, fish, natural cereal, shellfish and dairy products. This element is involved in many processes including: the metabolism, bone mineralization, wound healing, affects the immune system, proper insulin secretion by the pancreas and the concentration of vitamin A as well as cholesterol.
Zinc contributes to the regulation of blood pressure and heart rate. Zinc is widely known supplement of the diet . Noteworthy is the “Zinc Saves Kids” program, which is an initiative supported by UNICEF and the International Association of Zinc (IZA) designed to fight malnutrition and high mortality among children from Third World countries through the supplementation with zinc. More about the program: ZincSaveKids.org
Environment and zinc
Zinc is a component of the natural environment appearing in various quantities in rocks, soil, water and air. Zinc from the environment is necessary for proper development of all the organisms. It is an element necessary for the proper functioning of ecosystems. The balance and content of this element in nature is essential factor for existence of all organisms.