What is Arsenic?
Arsenic is a chemical element with the symbol As and atomic number 33. It is a naturally occurring metalloid found in rocks, soil and the environment. Arsenic is odorless and tasteless and is highly toxic, with both short and long-term health risks if ingested or inhaled.
Where is Arsenic Generally Used?
Arsenic has a variety of industrial and agricultural uses. It is used to produce pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, and wood preservatives. Arsenic is also used in the production of some semiconductor devices, pigments, glass, abrasives, and alloys.
Where is Arsenic Found?
Arsenic is found in small amounts in air, water, and food. It is usually found as a naturally occurring element in soil, rocks, and some food sources. It can also be found in higher amounts in some aquacultured fish, shellfish, and seabird eggs. People may also be exposed to arsenic through the use of contaminated ground water sources, such as wells, or through the ingestion of certain starchy weahance foods, such as rice, which can absorb arsenic from contaminated water sources. Arsenic contamination can also be found in certain types of wood treated with arsenic-containing pesticides.
What are the Health Benefits of Arsenic?
Arsenic has no known health benefits. In fact, it is a known carcinogen and can be toxic in high doses. Inhaling or ingesting arsenic can lead to serious and even deadly health problems, including cancer, skin lesions, respiratory illness, organ failure, and neurological damage. Long-term exposure to arsenic can also increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and reproductive problems.
Interesting Facts About Arsenic:
- Arsenic is one of the oldest recognized poisons, used as a murder weapon since antiquity.
- Natural arsenic is found in many animal and plant species.
- Inorganic arsenic compounds are recognized human carcinogens.
- The EPA has established a maximum contaminant level of arsenic in drinking water of 0.010 milligrams per liter (mg/L).
- Arsenic is used to produce semiconductor devices, pigments, glass, abrasives, and alloys.
List of other Similar Ingredients: