Arsenic Toxicity and Hair Testing
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Exposures To Arsenic That Can Lead to Toxicity
Metal smelters and coal burning emit arsenic. Contaminated well water high in arsenic is found in South America, West Bengal and Taiwan. Arsenic is also used in the manufacture of semiconductors, pesticides, opal glass, pharmaceuticals, paint and coating, and leather tanning. Taxidermists also use arsenic in this industry.
Disorders associated with arsenic toxicity include:
- Acute effects including vomiting, colic and diarrhea, fever, cardiotoxicity, shock, and death.
- Inhaled arsine causes dizziness, headache, hemolysis, jaundice, kidney damage and death.
- Chronic effects include sensorimotor neuropathy, eczema, hyperkeratosis, hyperpigmentation.
- Vascular effects include Raynaud’s Syndrome, acrocyanosis and necrosis.
- Arsenic toxicity is also associated with lung cancer.