Arsenic - As
Arsenic is one of the most toxic elements that can be found. Despite their toxic effect, inorganic arsenic bonds occur on earth naturally in small amounts. Humans may be exposed to arsenic through food, water and air. Exposure may also occur through skin contact with soil or water that contains arsenic.
A lethal dose of arsenic oxide is generally regarded as 100 mg.
The arsenic cycle has broadened as a consequence of human interference and due to this, large amounts of arsenic end up in the environment and in living organisms. Arsenic is mainly emitted by the copper producing industries, but also during lead and zinc production and in agriculture. It cannot be destroyed once it has entered the environment, so that the amounts that we add can spread and cause health effects to humans and animals on many locations on earth.
Plants absorb arsenic fairly easily, so that high-ranking concentrations may be present in food. The concentrations of the dangerous inorganic arsenics that are currently present in surface waters enhance the chances of alteration of genetic materials of fish. This is mainly caused by accumulation of arsenic in the bodies of plant-eating freshwater organisms. Birds eat the fish that already contain eminent amounts of arsenic and will die as a result of arsenic poisoning as the fish is decomposed in their bodies.
More information on properties of arsenic
Read more on arsenic in water
Information on arsenicosis
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