What Is Zinc?
To understand how hot-dip galvanizing can be used toward preventing steel corrosion, it is important to first understand the primary component of the hot-dip galvanized coating. Zinc is a healthy metal, infinitely recyclable without the loss of any physical or chemical properties. Approximately 30% of the worlds zinc supply comes from recycled zinc each year, and 80% of zinc that can be recycled is! Zinc is natural, essential and common in our every-day lives.
Zinc is Natural
Zinc exists naturally in air, water, and soil. Most rocks and many minerals contain zinc in varying amounts. It is the 24th most abundant element in the Earths crust and some 5.8 million tons of zinc are naturally cycled through the environment annually by plant and animal life, rainfall and other natural activity. During the course of evolution, all living organisms have adapted to the zinc in their environment and use it for specific metabolic processes. The amount of zinc present in the environment varies from place to place and season to season.
Zinc is Essential
Zinc is essential for all life, from humans to the smallest microorganism Zinc is essential for digestion, reproduction, kidney functioning, breathing, diabetes control, taste, smell, and much more. Although zinc in excess can be detrimental, zinc in deficiency is of far more concern, as the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 800,000 people in developing countries die each year because of lack of zinc in their diet. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include immune system dysfunction, mental lethargy, vision problems, fertility problems, respiratory and skin allergies, and premature aging.
Zinc is Common
Zinc (in oxide or other compound form) is used in a number of products we all use regularly. Zinc is commonly found in sunscreen (remember Zinka from the 80s, the neon colored cream you put on your nose), in fact, zinc oxide blocks more UV rays than any other single ingredient. Zinc is also common in treatment of sunburns, baby creams to prevent diaper rashes, treatment of acne, cold sores, dandruff, treatment of wounds, burns, surgical incisions, cosmetics, and even relief from common cold symptoms.