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EC number: 215-222-5
CAS number: 1314-13-2
No adequate experimental animal studies are available to evaluate the carcinogenicity of zinc compounds in humans.
Table 1: Incidence and types of tumours
in mice surviving 45 wk of treatments
A study of one-year duration was conducted
to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of the test material in mice.
Chester Beatty stock mice (newly-born
litters) were used. They were housed in the metal cages (4-6 per cage).
The doses of zinc sulphate were 22 g/L (5,000 ppm zinc) and 4.4 g/L
(1,000 ppm zinc) in drinking water along with a control group fed a basal
diet and normal drinking water. The animals were examined thoroughly
once a wk throughout the experiment and daily when fed. Weighing was
done once every 2 wk. Deaths of animals occurred during the first 8 wk
of experiment due to an epizootic of ectromelia. The survivors were
vaccinated with sheep lymph and animals showing a negative or
accelerated response were sacrificed. New group of weanling mice (4 -5
wk old) were added to supplement the control group. All the surviving
animals were sacrificed after 1 year of treatment and examined for gross
pathology. Histopathological examination was done for suspected
neoplastic lesions. Stomachs were examined for tumours and other changes
in the forestomach and glandular epithelium.
No differences in carcinogenic effects were
observed between treatment and control groups under the test conditions.
Under the test conditions, the test material
was found to be non-carcinogenic in mice.
On the basis of the existing information it
can be concluded that there is no conclusive evidence for carcinogenic
activity of any of the zinc compounds considered in this chemical safety
There are a range of epidemiological
studies that investigated the association between zinc exposure either
through occupational activities or food supplementation and increased
cancer risks. While no associations were found between occupational zinc
exposure and excess cancer risk, the main association that has been made
in this context is related to dietary/supplemental zinc and prostate
In contrast to established clinical
and experimental evidence that prostate cancer is associated with a
decrease in the zinc uptake, numerous epidemiology studies and reports
of the effect of dietary and supplemental zinc on the incidence of
prostated cancer have provided divergent, inconsistent and inconclusive
results which range from adverse effects of zinc, protective effects of
zinc and no effect of zinc on the risk of prostate cancer. Clinical and
experimental studies have established that zinc levels are decreased in
prostate cancer and support a role of zinc as a tumor suppressor agent.
Malignant prostate cellsin situare incapable of accumulating high
zinc levels from circulation (Franklin et al.,2005; Costello and
Franklin, 2006; Franklin and Costello, 2007).
In a recent critical assessment of
epidemiology studies regarding dietary/supplemental zinc and prostate
cancer risk, Costello et al.,concluded that epidemiological
studies have not provided an established relationship for any effect or
lack thereof of dietary/supplemental zinc on the risk of prostate
cancer. Proclamations of an association of dietary/supplemental zinc and
increased prostate cancer are based on inconclusive and uncorroborated
reports (Costello et al.,2007).
Zinc oxide nanomaterial:
Specific data on
carcinogenicity studies of ZnO nanomaterials are not available. In view
of the occurring dissolution of the ZnO nanoparticles it can be assumed
that the carcinogenic risk is similar to the conventionally manufactured
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