Zinc sulfate is a colorless crystalline, water-soluble chemical compound. It was historically known as white vitriol and is prepared by reacting zinc with aqueous sulfuric acid.
It is a member of the transition metal sulfates family, which are inorganic compounds in which the largest oxoanion is a sulfate and the heaviest atom not in an oxoanion is a transition metal. Sulfate compounds are generally soluble in aqueous solutions and inorganic salts and esters of acidic solutions.
Molecular formula: ZnSO4*7H2O (historically known as goslarite)
Biologically active ingredient
Zinc is a necessary micronutrient for many processes in the body, including DNA repair and protection from oxidative stress. It is important for the normal functioning of the immune system and the development and maintenance of healthy skin, teeth and bones.
The most common medicinal uses for zinc sulfate are to treat zinc deficiency diseases, such as anemia. It is also used as a mineral supplement in some diets, and as a food additive to increase the amount of zinc available to animals.
Absorption and toxicity
When the hydrate form of zinc is administered, it can be absorbed into the body through the stomach, intestines or skin. It is metabolized by the liver to a form called zinc pantothenate.
Regulatory use and safety issues
The heptahydrate is an essential component of the coagulant used in the production of rayon, as a precursor to the pigment lithopone and in the electroplating industry. It is also an important preservative for skins and leather.