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Toxicol Lett. 2002 Mar 10;128(1-3):69-72.

Chronic arsenic poisoning.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of Toxicology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center-El Paso, El Paso, TX, USA. ahall@elp.rr.com

Abstract

Symptomatic arsenic poisoning is not often seen in occupational exposure settings. Attempted homicide and deliberate long-term poisoning have resulted in chronic toxicity. Skin pigmentation changes, palmar and plantar hyperkeratoses, gastrointestinal symptoms, anemia, and liver disease are common. Noncirrhotic portal hypertension with bleeding esophageal varices, splenomegaly, and hypersplenism may occur. A metallic taste, gastrointestinal disturbances, and Mee's lines may be seen. Bone marrow depression is common. 'Blackfoot disease' has been associated with arsenic-contaminated drinking water in Taiwan; Raynaud's phenomenon and acrocyanosis also may occur. Large numbers of persons in areas of India, Pakistan, and several other countries have been chronically poisoned from naturally occurring arsenic in ground water. Toxic delirium and encephalopathy can be present. CCA-treated wood (chromated copper arsenate) is not a health risk unless burned in fireplaces or woodstoves. Peripheral neuropathy may also occur. Workplace exposure or chronic ingestion of arsenic-contaminated water or arsenical medications is associated with development of skin, lung, and other cancers. Treatment may incklude the use of chelating agents such as dimercaprol (BAL), dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), and dimercaptopanesulfonic acid (DMPS).

PMID:
11869818
DOI:
10.1016/s0378-4274(01)00534-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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