Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of zinc compounds (E6) as feed additives for all animal species (zinc acetate, dihydrate; zinc chloride, anhydrous; zinc oxide; zinc sulphate, heptahydrate; zinc sulphate, monohydrate; zinc chelate of amino acids, hydrate; zinc chelate of glycine, hydrate), based on a dossier submitted by FEFANA asbl
The Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) has assessed seven zinc compounds in the current application: zinc acetate, dihydrate; zinc chloride, anhydrous; zinc oxide; zinc sulphate, heptahydrate; zinc sulphate, monohydrate; zinc chelate of amino acids, hydrate; zinc chelate of glycine, hydrate. These compounds are safe sources of zinc for all animal species/categories when used up to maximum authorised zinc levels in feed; the simultaneous use of both feed and water supplemented with zinc should be avoided. No concerns for consumer safety are expected from the use of the zinc compounds under application when used up to the maximum authorised levels in feed. Zinc acetate, zinc sulphate (heptahydrate and monohydrate), zinc chelate of amino acids, hydrate, and zinc chelate of glycine, hydrate, are irritant to the skin, eyes and mucosae. Zinc sulphate may cause skin sensitisation. Zinc chloride, anhydrous, is extremely corrosive to skin, eyes and mucosae. Zinc chelate of amino acids, hydrate, may induce sensitisation by inhalation and should be considered a skin sensitiser. Zinc oxide is not irritant to skin or eyes or skin sensitiser. The Panel considers that all the additives under application should be treated as hazardous by inhalation. The use of the zinc compounds under assessment does not pose an immediate concern for the agricultural soil compartment. However, there is a potential environmental concern related to drainage and the runoff of zinc to surface water, with acidic sandy soils being the most vulnerable; for a final conclusion, further refinements to the assessment of zinc-based additives in livestock need to be considered, and additional data are required. The adoption of the newly proposed maximum zinc contents in feeds would greatly reduce the risk to the environment from zinc-containing additives. The zinc compounds under assessment are efficacious in meeting animal requirements.