arsenic poisoning


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

arsenic

 (As) [ahr´sĕ-nik]
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.
arsenic trioxide an oxidized form of arsenic, used in weed killers and rodenticides. It is also administered intravenously as an antineoplastic in the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia.

arsenic poisoning

Toxicity 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.
 
Clinical findings
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.
 
Treatment
Dimercaprol (BALS).
References in periodicals archive ?
Clinical epidemiological studies on endemic chronic arsenic poisoning in children and adults, including observations on children with high- and low-intake of dietary arsenic.
The changes of arsenic poisoning on the apoptotic cell nucleus in epididymal tubes of rats (Table 3): results of TUNEL staining showed that a small amount of apoptotic cells in epididymis was seen in control group (Figures 6, 7, and 8).
The presentation of the patient prompted the clinician to consider arsenic poisoning; and hence, the drinking water sample and the nail sample of the patient were tested for arsenic concentration.
Chronic arsenic poisoning has been reported from 9 prefectures and involves 32 villages and 9,000 families.
In trivalent arsenic poisoning the clinical effects depend on the chronicity of the exposure.
And though it has long been an effective means of treating patients suffering from mercury, lead or arsenic poisoning, it has also been touted as a treatment for cancer and heart disease, yet no conclusive studies have proven its effectiveness in treating those conditions.
Signs and symptoms of chronic arsenic poisoning may not occur until 2 to 8 weeks after exposure.
The fact that, on average, children are consuming about 25% of their daily allowable arsenic through juice (or "-ades" and fruit drinks) suggests that arsenic contamination in apple and apple-containing juices is exceeding allowable amounts for some children and in turn may be resulting in chronic arsenic poisoning for those children.
Although the inquest's verdict was death by natural causes, newspapers exposed her tally of dead husbands, lost children and the tell-tale indicators of arsenic poisoning. The Newcastle Chronicle even called her "a monster in human shape".
The effects of antimony poisoning are similar to arsenic poisoning.
What Jane had described in her letter sounded very much like the symptoms of arsenic poisoning, which causes a characteristic dark and light spotting of the skin when taken in small doses over a long period of time.