TIN is a metallic element whose organic compounds exhibit varying levels of toxicity. It is not thought to be an essential mineral for nutrition, even though minute amounts have been found in the body. It is speculated that this may be because of the leeching of the mineral from canned goods or tin foil into foods. Most tin ingestion comes from widespread use of foods in unlacquered cans, tin foil, and packaged food, as well as from “tin flavorings” found in jarred foods. Toxic accumulations can be found mainly in the bone, kidneys, heart, intestines, and liver.
If tin be required by humans, it is found in sufficient levels in food, water, and air to satisfy their needs. The average intake is thought to be about 3-4 mg. per day, mostly from inorganic forms. Usually, it is poorly absorbed and is excreted in the feces. Very high intakes in experimental animals have produced changes in zinc and iron metabolism, with decreased hematocrit, hemoglobin, and serum iron. Humans inhaling industrial pollutants are prone to develop a condition called “pneumoconiosis,” which is a group of lung diseases.
Names include: Sn, and element 50.
Deficiency symptoms produced included: deterioration of growth and of tooth development, decreased cancer resistance.
Toxicity symptoms include a shortened life span.
Sources include air pollution, tin cans, tin foil, and food additives.