What is arsenic?

  • (noun): A very poisonous metallic element that has three allotropic forms; arsenic and arsenic compounds are used as herbicides and insecticides and various alloys; found in arsenopyrite and orpiment and realgar.
    Synonyms: As, atomic number 33
    See also — Additional definitions below


Arsenic is a chemical element with symbol As and atomic number 33. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in conjunction with sulfur and metals, and also as a pure elemental crystal. It was first documented by Albertus Magnus in 1250. Arsenic is a metalloid. It can exist in various allotropes, although only the gray form has important use in industry.

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Some articles on arsenic:

Arsenic Toxicity - Exposure
... The oxides of arsenic are the most common threat since arsenite and arsenate salts are the most toxic ... Thus although arsenic poisoning can be related to human activities such as mining and ore smelting, the most serious problems are natural, resulting from water wells ... "Inorganic arsenic" (arsenate and arsenite salts) are more harmful than organic arsenic exposure ...
Arsenic - Toxicity and Precautions - Biological Mechanism
... The high affinity of arsenic(III) oxides for thiols is usually assigned as the cause of the high toxicity ... Arsenic disrupts ATP production through several mechanisms ... At the level of the citric acid cycle, arsenic inhibits lipoic acid, which is a cofactor for pyruvate dehydrogenase ...
Arsenical Keratosis - Treatment
... dimercaprol) may be helpful to correct acute arsenic exposure, but it has minimal or no effect for patients who had arsenic exposure a long time ago ... acitretin, etretinate) may be helpful in treating arsenic-induced cutaneous lesions and in reducing the risk of cutaneous and internal malignancy formation, especially in Bowman's ...
South Maury Island Environmental Issues - Gravel Mining On Maury Island - Arsenic Contamination
... soil in some areas of Vashon-Maury Island has elevated concentrations of arsenic, lead, and cadmium, probably due to decades of copper smelting operations in Ruston ... When examined by area, the data indicates the most serious arsenic contamination is in South Vashon-Maury Island ... Mine (now Glacier Northwest) site, the community raised new questions about the level of arsenic contamination for Vashon-Maury Island as a whole ...
Arsenical Keratosis
... An arsenical keratosis is a growth of keratin on the skin caused by arsenic, which occurs naturally in the earth's crust and is widely distributed in the environment, Arsenical compounds ... Arsenic is also found to be an environmental contaminant in drinking water (well water) and an occupational hazard for miners and glass workers ... Arsenic may also causes other conditions including Bowen's disease, cardiovascular diseases, developmental abnormalities, neurologic and neurobehavioral disorders, diabetes, hearing ...

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