Arsenicosis a�� An Overview

Drinking water contaminated with arsenic may lead to arsenicosis or arsenic poisoning when exposed over a long period. Many water sources contain traces of arsenic whereas excessive arsenic concentrations naturally occur in few areas. Most often, the adverse health effects are delayed. Hence, the best preventive measure is to supply drinking water which contains low arsenic levels. Read on to know more about



Arsenicosis a�� How it affects?

Arsenicosis, is an adverse condition due to arsenic poisoning, which usually occurs over a long period of exposure like 5-20 years. If arsenic contaminated drinking water is consumed for a long period, then it may result into various adverse health effects. These adverse health effects includes:

  • Reproductive disorder
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes in rare cases
  • Diseases afflicting the blood vessels of the feet and legs
  • Cancers of the lungs, kidney and bladder
  • Skin cancer
  • Skin problems like hard patches on the soles of the feet and palms, skin discoloration

The human skin does not absorb arsenic easily and it is very minimal. Therefore, laundry, bathing, hand washing, etc. with arsenic contaminated water do not pose any major health risks to humans. In China, exposure to arsenic found in the drinking water has shown to cause an acute disease of the blood vessels. This acute disease finally leads to the formation of gangrene. This is called as the ‘black foot disease’. This acute disease has not been seen in any other part of the world.

It is quite possible that one of the contributing factors is malnutrition. On the contrary, studies conducted in other countries have found that arsenic poisoning may cause other forms of less severe peripheral vascular disease.

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