What are the symptoms of zinc poisoning?

Symptoms of zinc poisoning can be very serious and warrant immediate medical attention. These symptoms tend to be generalized (involving your entire body) and can make you feel very sick.

Common symptoms of zinc poisoning

Common symptoms of zinc poisoning include:

  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fainting or change in level of consciousness
  • Fever and chills
  • Inability to urinate
  • Metallic taste
  • Seizures
  • Shock
  • Vomiting
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, zinc poisoning can be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms:

  • Convulsions
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fainting or change in level of consciousness
  • Inability to urinate
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Seizure
  • Shock
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)

What is zinc poisoning?

Zinc is an important mineral required for a number of functions involving energy and metabolism. It is critical in supporting the immune system, which protects us from pathogens, infections, and disease. Zinc also plays a role in carbohydrate breakdown (process that supplies energy), as well as in cell growth, division and reproduction.... Read more about zinc poisoningintroduction


What causes zinc poisoning?

Zinc poisoning occurs when there are toxic levels of zinc in the body. Zinc is commonly found in paints, metals, cleaners, solvents, and other construction materials. Other common materials and products containing zinc include rubber, varnish, dyes, and rust-proofing agents. You can also develop zinc poisoning through overconsumption of zinc supplements.... Read more about zinc poisoningcauses


How is zinc poisoning treated?

As zinc poisoning is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition, it is vitally important to seek immediate medical attention if you have symptoms you believe may be associated with zinc poisoning. Call the American Association of Poison Control Centers (1-800-222-1222) if you or someone you are with has been exposed to zinc and shows signs of poisoning. It is helpful to be able to identify the source of the zinc, whether through exposure or ingestion, as well as the estimated time and level of exposure. Treatment will focus on stabilizing the patient, supporting breathing and circulation, and may also involve measures... Read more about zinc poisoningtreatments

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Allergies and the Immune System