Biologia, Bratislava, 55/Suppl. 8: 55-58, 2000.

ISSN 0006-3088 (Biologia). ISSN 1335-6399 (Biologia. Section Cellular and Molecular Biology).


Full Paper

Zeolites as possible inhibitors of permeation of some metals across the skin.


Zoltan Kassai1, Katarina Bauerova2*, Vasil Koprda1 & Andrea Bujnova1

1 Department of Environmental Technology, Faculty of Chemical Technology, Slovak University of Technology, Radlinskeho 9, SK-84227 Bratislava, Slovakia

2 Institute of Experimental Pharmacology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dubravska cesta 9, SK-84216 Bratislava, Slovakia; e-mail:

* corresponding author

Received: July 10, 2000 / Accepted: October 24, 2000



Progress in industry and energetics, urbanisation and other activities are accompanied with metal contamination of the environment. It is thus rather important to prevent the permeation of metals across the human skin.  The skin with its large area (about 2 m2), together with other routes of potential contamination, could be an important negotiator of whole body intake. Chemically different permeation inhibitors are being tested with the aim to eliminate the toxicological effect of  metals in humans. In the present study the use of zeolites was investigated. Synthetic (Zeolon) and natural zeolite (Mordenite) were mixed with Indulona® Dez cream at different ratios.  Permeation of metals (Cs+, Co2+, Cd2+ ions) from water solution across the intact 5-day-old rat skin was studied in vitro using vertical diffusion cells. A radiometrical method was applied to determine radionuclide permeation of the above given metals. Zeolon was found to be a more effective inhibitor than Mordenite. Comparison of the different zeolite/Indulona® Dez ratios indicated that the zeolite content in the cream mixture could influence its inhibitory effect. Thus for example for Cs, the permeated fraction was 0.0054 for the mixture zeolite/Indulona® Dez (1:2) and 0.0078 for the mixture zeolite/Indulona® Dez (1:4) in the 5th experimental hour. For experiments with cobalt, the highest radioactivity was detected in the zeolite, followed by the stratum corneum (SC) and epidermis, and the lowest in the dermis. Biologically, the principal penetration barrier was found to be the SC. The presented results established the importance of zeolites for caesium and cobalt permeation inhibition and thus for decreasing their potential toxicity. The inhibitory effect of zeolites on cadmium permeation was not confirmed.


Key words: skin, metals, permeation, zeolites, environment, radionuclides.