Arsenic is a natural element found in soil and minerals. Arsenic compounds are used to preserve wood, as pesticides, and in some industries. Arsenic can get into air, water, and the ground from wind-blown dust. It may also get into water from runoff.
You may be exposed to arsenic by
- Taking in small amounts in food, water or air
- Breathing sawdust or burning smoke from arsenic-treated wood
- Living in an area with high levels of arsenic in rock
- Working in a job where arsenic is made or used
Exposure to arsenic can cause many health problems. Being exposed to low levels for a long time can change the color of your skin. It can cause corns and small warts. Exposure to high levels of arsenic can cause death.
Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry
- Arsenic in Drinking Water (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Arsenic in Food (Food and Drug Administration)
- Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA): Inorganic Arsenical Pressure-Treated Wood (Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances)
- Tox Town (National Library of Medicine) Available in Spanish
- Arsenic in Ground Water of the United States (U.S. Geological Survey)
Statistics and Research
- TOXMAP (National Library of Medicine) - Create maps showing locations of toxic chemical releases