Zinc is the most widely used metal for the protection of steel from corrosion as well as being present in a range of other manufactured products and in the natural environment. About 7 million tonnes of zinc metal are produce annually, of which about 20% is from recycled material and the rest from mining and refining. From this, about 70% is used for coatings for corrosion prevention, 15% goes into brass, about 5% goes into rubber tyres (as zinc oxide) while the balance is used for zinc chemicals, dry cell batteries and diecasting. As coatings and tyres are consumable products, it is logical to assume that the zinc in these products will eventually end up dispersed into the environment. Is this a health hazard? Does it represent a risk to the natural environment? Extract from INGAL Specifiers' Manual - 3rd Edition. Full manual at www.ingal.com.au .