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In the latter part of the 13th century, Marco Polo described the manufacture of ZINC OXIDE in Persia
In Rajasthan, India, great heaps of small retorts bear testimony to extensive zinc production from the 12th to the 16th centuries. ZINC was used to make brass whereas the OXIDE was used medicinally.
ZINC OXIDE is used as a base for white pigment in watercolors and paints. "Blue powder" is a dust of small spheres of colloidal zinc particles covered with ZnO used in paints for protecting ships.
ZINC OXIDE is the most important catalysator in vulcanization of rubber and polymeres.
ZINC OXIDE is a polycrystalline material that exhibits excellent piezoelectric properties when deposited in thin film form.
ZINC OXIDE is allowable up to 25% as active ingredient in sunblocks to reduce skin damage and by blocking ultraviolet radiation from the sun. It is an opaque material that reflects light.
As an over-the -counter ointment, it is applied as a thin coating on the exposed skin of the face and nose to prevent dehydration and thereby protect against sunburn in the summer and windburn in the winter. Applied thinly to a baby´s diaper area with each diaper change, it protects against rash. ZnO with 0.5% ferric oxide is the active ingredient in calamine lotion, which soothes irritated skin.
ZINC OXIDE has an antimicrobic effect. In ZnO containing topical preparation the germs died earlier as compared to preparations without. Common infectious agents for skin and mucosa such as streptococcus pyogenes, micro-coccus pyogenes, pseudomonas aeruginosa and staphylococci survived for only a few hours, bacterium pyocyaneum and candida albicans and tropicalis for up to 24 hours. ZnO causes a reduction of respiration in the Warburg apparatus for all germs in the rest period as well as in the proliferation phase.