The dangers of zinc oxide fumes

event img

What are zinc oxide fumes?

Zinc oxide fumes are fine, dry, odourless particles that are often white or yellowish in colour. They are formed when zinc is melted, burned or heated in high temperatures such as welding or galvanising.

Industries that use zinc oxide

Zine oxide is versatile and is used for a variety of application across various industries. These include:

  • Agriculture
  • Rubber
  • Ceramic and glass
  • Paint, pigment and coating
  • Pharmaceuticals and skincare
  • Dentistry

Are zinc oxide fumes dangerous?

Fumes emitted from zinc oxide can be harmful when exposed, causing what is known as ‘metal fume fever’. Symptoms mimic that of a flu and may be delayed for several hours after exposure, typically lasting one or two days. These symptoms include:


  • Headache
  • Fever and chills
  • Aches
  • Sore throat
  • Tightness of chest
  • Cough and respiratory problems
  • Blurred vision


  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain


  • Skin sensitivity
  • Mild irritation

How can a zinc oxide fume extractor help?

According to the COSHH (Control of Substances Hazard to Health) Regulations 2002 approved code of practice and guidance, zinc oxide fumes are subject to these guidelines:

“substances hazardous to health are produced as a by-product of the work, for example, welding by-products which may include gases, liquids or dust”.

As well as PPE, correct ventilation and extraction under these circumstances is crucial. We recommend using the digital 650 or the Analoge DentalEX to ensure that fumes from zinc oxide are properly controlled.

The digital 650 and Analoge DentalEX is designed to remove the harmful fumes and purify air consistently to protect users from harmful gases and airborne contaminants. The automatic electronic flow control, HEPA filtration, simple installation and low running costs make our fume extraction systems the ideal solution for your needs.

Fume extractors for soldering fumes

Here at Purex, we provide an excellent level of service and support, including our 24-hour technical support service and start-to-end projects. Get in touch with our expert team today to find out more about our fume extractors for a variety of industries, or learn more about how Purex can help with your fume extraction needs.