Essay On Arsenic

736 Words3 Pages
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is as average concentration of 2mg/kg arsenic found in the earth’s crust. It is found in trace amounts in our natural environment such as in the air, water, soil and rock. Concentrations vary from area to area and this is dependent on factors such as weathering and the human activities such as the mining and smelting of metals, the burning of fossil fuels and the use of pesticides (Ng et al, 2001).
Humans are exposed to arsenic mainly through the ingestion of food and water but it can also enter through the lungs or our skin. The mean concentration through ingestion is about 20 to 300 µg/day. Approximately 25% of arsenic found in food is organic. Pulmonary exposure may be up to 10 µg/day for those who smoke and 1 µg/day in a non- smoker. This increases if the area is more polluted (Ng et al, 2001). A ranking done by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, states that arsenic is the tenth most frequently detected groundwater contaminant at hazardous waste sites. The main sources of the contaminant is from mining and manufacturing (Assad et al, 2009).
…show more content…
reports that while arsenic is considered a toxic element in large amounts, the body requires small amounts of arsenic. The body is able to endure small amounts of arsenic without noticeable physiological effects as the body is able to excrete arsenic. According to them, a dosage of arsenic in the range 2-20mg/kg body weight/day is considered as an acute fatal dose. Factors such as a person’s age, health status and weight determine how much arsenic a person can take in their body. Arsenic trioxide is the most commonly available form of arsenic. Less than an eighth of a tea spoon is enough to be fatal. Also, small dose exposure over a long period of time is considered

More about Essay On Arsenic

Open Document