EPA Designation Secondary
EPA Classification Chemical
EPA Levels 1,2 5 mg/L MCLG (mg/L)
Alternative Names none
Sources not available
Zinc, in commerce also spelter, is a metallic chemical element; it has the symbol Zn and atomic number 30. It is the first element of group 12 of the periodic table. Zinc is, in some respects, chemically similar to magnesium, because its ion is of similar


Zinc is an essential mineral of "exceptional biologic and public health importance".[1] Zinc deficiency affects about two billion people in the developing world and is associated with many diseases.[2] In children it causes growth retardation, delayed sexual maturation, infection susceptibility, and diarrhea, contributing to the death of about 800,000 children worldwide per year.[1] Enzymes with a zinc atom in the reactive center are widespread in biochemistry, such as alcohol dehydrogenase in humans. Consumption of excess zinc can cause ataxia, lethargy and copper deficiency.


Major applications of zinc include (numbers are given for the US)[89] 1.Galvanizing (55%) 2.Alloys (21%) 3.Brass and bronze (16%) 4.Miscellaneous (8%)

Health Effects

No Known Effects.

EPA Data Source: Zinc

EPA Definitions:

1Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) - The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety and are non-enforceable public health goals.

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) - The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology and taking cost into consideration. MCLs are enforceable standards.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG) - The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

(TT) Treatment Technique - A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL) - The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

2 Units are in milligrams per liter (mg/L) unless otherwise noted. Milligrams per liter are equivalent to parts per million.