URL of this page: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/arsenic.html

Arsenic

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Summary

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

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  • TOXMAP From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) - Create maps showing locations of toxic chemical releases