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a chemical element, atomic number 33, atomic weight 74.92. (See Appendix 6.) It is toxic by inhalation or ingestion, and carcinogenic (see arsenic poisoning). In nature it occurs usually as one of its salts; in human environments it is often a pollutant in mining regions, and is used in dyes, household pesticides, and compounds used in agriculture. Arsenic compounds called arsenicals were formerly widely used in medicine.
arsenic poisoning poisoning due to systemic exposure to inorganic pentavalent arsenic. Arsenic is cumulative, storing permanently in hair, nails, and bone, and children are particularly susceptible. Arsenic is odorless and flavorless and has been found in elevated levels in the drinking water that flows through arsenic-rich rocks, leading to serious health problems in some countries. The antidote for arsenic poisoning is dimercaprol. Acute arsenic poisoning, which may result in shock and death, is marked by skin eruptions, swelling of eyelids and limbs, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. Chronic arsenic poisoning (called also arsenism), due to ingestion of small amounts over a long period of time, is marked by skin pigmentation with scaling, keratosis of the palms and soles, white lines on the fingernails, peripheral neuropathy, and confusion.
toxic effect caused by the ingestion or inhalation of arsenic or a substance containing arsenic, an ingredient in some pesticides, herbicides, dyes, and medicinal solutions. Small amounts absorbed over a period of time may result in chronic poisoning, producing nausea, headache, coloration and scaling of the skin, hyperkeratoses, anorexia, and white lines across the fingernails. Ingestion of large amounts of arsenic results in severe GI pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and swelling of the extremities. Renal failure and shock may occur, and death may result. Determination of the presence of arsenic in the urine, hair, or fingernails is diagnostic.
arsenic poisoningToxicity caused by arsenic, a toxic trace metal that is a key component of herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, wood preservatives and used in manufacturing glass and paints. The usual fatal dose is 100–200 mg; there are ± 1900 arsenic poisonings/year (US), 85% of which are accidental by children < age 6; the rest are adult suicides.
Vague gastrointestinal (nausea, vomiting) and neurologic (apprehension and shortness of breath) symptoms, and a classic sign—“garlic” breath—followed by dysphagia, tachycardia, severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhoea, then by renal and cardiac failure and circulatory collapse.
a chemical element, atomic number 33, atomic weight 74.92, symbol As. See Table 6. Arsenic compounds have been widely used in veterinary medicine, but they have been replaced for the most part by antibiotics, which are less toxic and equally effective. Still used in homeopathy. Some of the arsenicals are used for infectious diseases, especially those caused by protozoa, and some skin disorders and blood dyscrasias also are still treated with arsenic compounds. Since arsenic is highly toxic it must be administered with caution. The antidote for arsenic poisoning is dimercaprol (BAL). See also arsenical.
Senna floribunda, S. occidentalis.
copper-chrome-arsenic wood preservative
see wood preservative.
evidence on the response to arsenic supplementation of the diet suggests that it may exert a beneficial effect on patients by controlling deleterious intestinal organisms.
inorganic arsenic poisoning
can occur after ingestion or cutaneous absorption. Acute poisoning is manifested by abdominal pain, diarrhea and dehydration. Chronic poisoning shows a syndrome of emaciation, chronic diarrhea, poor haircoat and greatly reduced productivity.
organic arsenic poisoning
arsanilate poisoning in pigs is characterized by blindness and incoordination and a high recovery rate; poisoning by 4-hydroxyphenyl arsenic acid also in pigs causes a syndrome of tremor and incoordination but only if the affected animals are exercising at the time.
see inorganic arsenic poisoning, organic arsenic poisoning (above).
AsO3, pollutant on pasture from roasting of arsenical and some iron ores.