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The federal EPA, International Zinc Institute, the Nickel Institute, and U.S. Geological Service are funding a $700,000 study of the applicability of the biotic ligand model (BLM) for zinc next year. The BLM is a tool used to measure metals and potential toxicity in water, and looks at whether metals can accumulate on gills of organisms living in water. The BLM for zinc was approved by the EU about ten years ago, effectively stopping crippling scrutiny of zinc, and the federal EPA approved the BLM for copper about five years ago. A resource issue within the EPA has delayed studying the BLM for zinc until now. This is great news for the industry as a favorable ruling will likely quell any effort by individual states to restrict zinc usage on their own to rather arbitrary levels, as the states tend to follow federal guidelines in this area.