Friday, April 02, 2021

Arsenic poisoning

Arsenic is notorious as a poison because white arsenic (arsenic trioxide) has no odor or taste. Most arsenic poisonings are due to unintentional ingestion.

Arsenic is an element that raises much concern from the both environmental and human health standpoints. Over the centuries, arsenic has been used for a variety of purposes. Arsenic was a constituent in cosmetics, and used more extensively than at present in agriculture to protect crops from pests.

Humans may encounter arsenic in water from wells drilled into arsenic-rich ground strata or in water contaminated by industrial or agrochemical waste.

They may eat food contaminated with arsenical pesticides or grown with arsenic-contaminated water or in arsenic-rich soil.

Potential source of arsenic exposure in food: wine (grapes sprayed with arsenic containing pesticides), tobacco (plants sprayed with arsenic-containing pesticides), and seafood (especially bivalves, certain cold water and bottom-feeding finfish, and seaweed).

The clinical manifestations of chronic arsenic intoxication are dependent on host susceptibility, the dose and the time course of exposure.

The main adverse effects reported to be associated with long-term ingestion of inorganic arsenic by humans are cancer, skin lesions, developmental effects, cardiovascular disease, neurotoxicity and diabetes.
Arsenic poisoning

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