Arsenic poisoning

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Arsenic poisoning arises after swallowing or inhaling large amounts of arsenic. It is important to note that arsenic is a form of carcinogen that is silver, gray or white in color. Remember that it is highly poisonous to humans. In addition, it is dangerous since it does not have an odor or taste, thus an individual is exposed without knowing.

Even though it is naturally occurring, it is also available in inorganic forms. Poisoning occur most often in areas of industrialization.

What are the indications?

  • Swollen or reddened skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Changes in the skin such as new lesions or warts
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Tingling of the toes and fingers

Prolonged exposure to arsenic can result to severe symptoms. It is recommended to seek emergency care if any of these are present after arsenic poisoning is suspected:

  • Darkened skin
  • Recurrent digestive issues
  • Constant sore throat

The long-term symptoms are likely to affect the skin first and can manifest within 5 years of exposure. The cases of severe poisoning might result to death.

Management of arsenic poisoning

Even today, there is no specific treatment in managing arsenic poisoning. The ideal way to manage the condition is to avoid exposure. Full recovery might not occur for weeks or months. It is based on the length of exposure. In addition, the seriousness of the symptoms might have a role.

Selenium and vitamin E supplements have been utilized as alternatives to lessen the effects of exposure.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on arsenic poisoning is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs and how it is managed, register for a first aid and CPR course with Mississauga First Aid.

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