Zinc poisoning or toxicity may occur rapidly. An acute incident may occur after an episode of food poisoning or accidentally consuming too much zinc in supplement form. The Office of Dietary Supplements reports that symptoms may appear as early as 30 minutes after ingesting 4,000 mg of zinc. These symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headaches, loss of appetite, diarrhea and stomach pain.
Chronic Zinc Toxicity
Chronic zinc poisoning or toxicity occurs after zinc is consumed in high amounts on a regular basis. The Office of Dietary Supplements reports, “Intakes of 150 to 450 mg of zinc per day have been associated with such chronic effects as low copper status, altered iron function, reduced immune function and reduced levels of high-density lipoproteins.” Additional symptoms of chronic zinc poisoning include fever, chronic cough, low blood pressure, seizures, joint pain and a metallic taste in the mouth. Inhalation of zinc oxide during welding can lead to a condition called “zinc shakes” and can lead to neurological damage, according to the The Merck Manuals.