, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 263-276
Date: 20 Jun 2007

Acute toxicological impact of nano- and submicro-scaled zinc oxide powder on healthy adult mice

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In this work, the acute oral toxicity of 20- and 120-nm ZnO powder at doses of 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-g/kg body weight was evaluated referred to the OECD guidelines for testing of chemicals. As the results, both 20- and 120-nm ZnO belong to non-toxic chemicals according to the Globally Harmonized Classification System (GHS) for the classification of chemicals. The distribution determination showed that Zn was mainly retained in the bone, kidney and pancreas after 20- and 120-nm ZnO administration. However, the results of blood measurement suggest that the increase in blood viscosity could be induced by low and median dose of 20-nm ZnO but high dose of 120-nm ZnO. The pathological examination showed that the 120-nm ZnO treated mice had dose–effect pathological damages in stomach, liver, heart and spleen, whereas, 20-nm ZnO displayed negative dose–effect damages in liver, spleen and pancreas. Therefore, we conclude that the liver, spleen, heart, pancreas and bone are the target organs for 20- and 120-nm ZnO oral exposure. More attention should be paid on the potential toxicity induced by low dose of 20-nm ZnO oral exposure.