Zinc, like all metals, is a natural component of the Earth’s crust and an inherent part of our environment. Zinc is present not only in rock and soil, but also in air, water, and the biosphere - plants, animals, and humans.
Zinc is constantly being transported by nature, a process called natural cycling. Rain, snow, ice, sun, and wind erode zinc-containing rocks and soil. Wind and water carry minute amounts of zinc to lakes, rivers, and the sea, where it collects as sediment or is transported further. Natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions, forest fires, dust storms, and sea spray all contribute to the continuous cycling of zinc through nature.
During the course of evolution, all living organisms have adapted to the zinc in their environment and used it for specific metabolic processes.
The amount of zinc present in the natural environment varies from place to place and from season to season. For example, the amount of zinc in the Earth’s crust ranges between 10 and 300 mg/kg, and zinc in rivers varies from less than 10 µ g/L to over 200 µ g/L. Similarly, falling leaves in autumn lead to a seasonal increase in zinc levels in soil and water.
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