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What causes zinc poisoning in humans?

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People can get zinc poisoning by ingesting it through a variety of substances, including compounds used to make ointments, paint, rubber, dyes and wood preservatives, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Ingesting zinc chloride, zinc acetate and zinc sulfate can cause poisoning. Zinc oxide can cause poisoning as well, although it's less likely to cause problems.

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Full Answer

Rust-preventing coatings often contain zinc, and some metals release zinc fumes when heated or galvanized, states the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Zinc is an important trace mineral that the human body needs to function properly, and it's a common ingredient in multivitamins. However, mineral and vitamin supplements are also a risk factor for zinc poisoning. Symptoms of zinc poisoning include body pain, a cough and fever; people might also feel a burning sensation or chills. Some people might not be able to produce urine, and watery or bloody diarrhea can occur as well.

Zinc poisoning can cause a rash, and sufferers might even experience low blood pressure or shock, notes the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Zinc poisoning is a dangerous condition that demands emergency medical attention. Unless instructed otherwise, people waiting for help to arrive should drink milk. Prognosis depends partially on how much the person ingested, and how promptly medical care began.

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