Zinc2471 USD/Mt -770 (-23.76%) (Last updated - January 18, 2024 07:44 AM UTC )
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Zinc is a naturally occurring element. It is the 24th most abundant element found in the crust of Earth. The metal has a significant role to play in biological processes of all living organisms, including human beings, plants, and animals, as zinc is essential for cell division, the immune system, protein synthesis as well as growth. The United Nations regards zinc as a “Life Saving Commodity” as it is a crucial mineral of tremendous biological and public health significance.
Also, owing to its distinctive properties, zinc is used in a variety of agricultural, industrial, infrastructure and consumer products. In the form of zinc compounds, it is majorly used in rubber manufacturing, which is an essential raw material for making tires.
Natural cycling process of zinc
Through natural phenomena, such as solar heat, snow, rain, wind rocks and soil, zinc gets eroded. This zinc is cycled naturally through the environment.
Also, natural processes, like dust storms, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, and sea spray add zinc to the natural cycling of zinc. Overall, nearly 5.9 million metric ton of zinc is naturally produced every year.
Bioavailability of Zinc
Zinc’s bioavailability refers to a form which can be used by organisms. It is determined by how it interacts with the media in which it exists. The distribution and effects of zinc is strongly dependent on the traits of that environment.
For the environmental assessment of zinc, a science-based approach is most suitable because it is a naturally occurring element. As per studies conducted so far, it has been observed that the use of zinc adds insignificant quantities of bioavailable zinc to the surroundings. Thus, it has a low potential for environmental effects.
ASX Zinc companies
Frequently Asked Questions
In the human body, zinc is essential for many biological operations. About 2-3 grams of zinc is present in an adult body. A human body needs zinc for the proper functioning of several proteins and enzymes. Also, zinc provides protection to human and plant cells from the damaging effect of toxic-free radicals. An adult woman is advised to take 12 milligrams of zinc daily, while men should consume 15 milligrams every day.
Around one-third of the population worldwide is zinc deficient. Physical and neural growth and development, brain function, memory and learning ability can get impaired due to zinc deficiency in early life. In case of severe zinc deficiency, a person may suffer from stunting, poor immune response, lack of normal sexual development, skin disorders, and anorexia.
As per UNICEF, zinc deficiency causes ~450,000 deaths or 4.4% of children under five years of age on a global level. WHO has also highlighted that zinc deficiency is the fifth major cause of death and disease in developing nations.
Coating of zinc over tools, machinery and other assets made of steel helps to prolong their life. Hot-dip galvanized products ensure protection against corrosion for about 10 years to 170 years.
The global cost of corrosion totals US$2.5 trillion. These costs can be reduced by a major factor zinc is used to elongate the service life of steel. It will protect valuable steel from corrosion.
Low crop yield is one of the alarming situations arising out of zinc-deficient soils in key agricultural zones. This problem can be addressed with the use of zinc fertilisers and boost agricultural productivity in a sustainable manner. Also, zinc fertilisers can be utilised to increase grain zinc concentration. This will help in improving the daily zinc intake of human populations.