Scientific Opinion on safety and efficacy of zinc compounds (E6) as feed additive for all animal species: Zinc oxide, based on a dossier submitted by Grillo Zinkoxid GmbH/EMFEMA
Zinc oxide is a safe source of zinc for all animal species and no concerns for consumer safety are expected from the use of zinc oxide in animal nutrition, considering the maximum contents for total zinc in feedingstuffs set by EU legislation. Zinc oxide is not an irritant to skin and eyes; it is not a skin sensitiser. The zinc oxide under application is considered a compound with high dusting potential, which may result in a critical exposure of users by inhalation, affecting the respiratory system. The authorised use of zinc oxide as a feed additive does not pose a direct concern for the agricultural soil compartment. However, there is a potential environmental concern related to groundwater, drainage and the run-off of zinc to surface water. Acid sandy soils are most vulnerable to these processes. In order to draw a final conclusion, some further refinement to the assessment of zinc-based feed additives in livestock needs to be considered, for which additional data would be required. The use of zinc-containing additives in aquaculture up to maximum authorised zinc level in feeds is not expected to pose an appreciable risk to the environment. Zinc oxide is efficacious in meeting animal zinc requirements.