ARSENIC INDUSTRIAL EFFECTS
|Industrial development has created several devils that had eventually made human life miserable. One such devil is arsenic intoxication or arsenic poisoning.
Arsenic is a toxic metal that is abundantly distributed in several forms in the nature. However, arsenic poisoning primarily occurs due to two important compounds, namely arsenic trioxide and arsine gas. For centuries, arsenic was widely used for different purposes such as medication for treating syphilis, as an ingredient in tonics, as a cosmetic agent and in the formation of some pigments like emerald green. Currently, it is used in rodent poisons and agricultural pesticides. People can get exposed to arsenic by drinking contaminated ground water or by consuming adulterated food grown under the influence of insecticides. Also, people working in copper smelting, mining and metallurgical industries are at a higher risk of continued exposure to arsenic.
Inside the human body, arsenic functions as a potent inhibitor of oxidative phosphorylation. The chemical has long been identified as a potential carcinogen causing permanent changes in the genetic structure of a cell. Constant exposure to low doses of arsenic has been associated with occurrence several types of cancers of the skin, liver, kidney and bladder.
Diagnosis of arsenic is done by analyzing hair follicles and nail samples. The toxic agent gets deposited in these tissues and can stay there for years. One can also look for skin samples to determine arsenic poisoning.
The best available treatment against the toxicity is to consume foods that contain large amounts of sulfur. Sulfur is capable of combining with arsenic, thus forming sulphides. Sulphides are easily eliminated from the body. Some of these foods containing sulfur include eggs, onions, beans, legumes and garlic. Arsenic can also be removed through chelation therapy using a series of injections of EDTA. Dimercaprol is used to treat the condition.
Dangerous Drugs & Medicine