Zinc Sulphate Heptahydrate (ZnSO4•7H2O) occurs in nature as the mineral goslarite. Chemists manufacture it by treating any metal that contains zinc with sulfuric acid. For pharmaceutical use, chemists use high-purity zinc oxide to obtain the ZnSO4•7H2O.
Zinc sulphate has applications in many industries, including printing, electroplating, agriculture and health. Bisley supplies ZnSO4•7H2O to the agricultural sector. Changing gears, we’ll explore all the utilisations and health effects of this substance, helping you understand this compound. ZnSO4•7H2O was historically known as white vitriol. It’s a colourless solid, usually a white powder or crystals. If you use zinc sulphate, store it at room temperature.
Applications of Zinc Sulfate by Industry
As we mentioned, multiple industries utilise zinc sulphate for various applications.
Fertilisers and agricultural sprays utilise this compound to supplement zinc in plants. The compound also prevents moss growth on roots. Additionally, zinc sulphate acts as a supplement in animal feeds.
Doctors prescribe zinc sulphate hydrates as part of oral rehydration therapy. They use it to treat diarrhoea or stomach issues related to zinc deficiency. Some people use it as a dietary supplement, and doctors also use it in intravenous feeding. Toothpaste also utilises zinc sulphate hydrates. If you use zinc sulphate and experience any side effects, you can report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Rayon production utilises zinc sulphate heptahydrate. The printing industry uses it to produce lithopone. It also acts as an electrolyte in the electroplating industry. Preservation of skins and leather also utilises zinc sulphate. Distillers and brewers use zinc sulphate to increase the alcohol yield of the yeast in the brewing process.
Side Effects and Environmental Impact
Zinc sulphate has many benefits and is even considered an essential medicine by the World Health Organisation (WHO). However, overdose, allergic reaction or incorrect application leads to side-effects. Should you decide to use zinc sulphate as a supplement, call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. We’ve listed some common side effects below:
- An overdose of zinc sulphate results in nausea, vomiting and stomach pain. (Usually apparent at two to eight milligrams per kilogram body weight.)
- The powder form acts as an eye irritant.
- Allergic reactions to this chemical may lead to hives, swelling and difficulty breathing.
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor for advice. Be advised that you should also report any side effects to the FDA.
Zinc sulphate itself doesn't have much environmental impact. But high concentrations can harm the environment. The production of zinc sulphate releases some by-products, such as sodium oxide. These can be harmful if not properly managed.
Zinc sulphate heptahydrate has many different uses across industries if used correctly. Utilised incorrectly or in high concentrations, it’s harmful to human, animal and environmental health. WHO has named pharmaceutical zinc sulphate an essential medicine. It's also a crucial additive for animal feed and lactating dairy cows. Additionally, it has an application as an additive to plant fertiliser and brewers often use it to improve yeast.