Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA


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Arsenic Menu

Hazard Recognition

Arsenic exposure in the workplace occurs through inhalation, ingestion, dermal or eye contact. Chronic exposure to arsenic leads to to distinct skin diseases, such as arsenical keratinosis, which is characterized by excessive formation of scaly skin on the palms and soles; darkened patches of skin; wart formation; skin lesions; acne; and increased risk of skin cancers. Chronic arsenic poisoning can also cause sudden constriction in arteries or veins, reducing blood flow; decreased nerve function; lung, liver, kidney and bladder, and other cancers. Acute exposures can cause lung distress and death. The following references provide information about the hazards and health effects associated with arsenic.

Related Literature
  • Hertz-Picciotto I, Arrighi HM, Hu SW. "Does arsenic exposure increase the risk for circulatory disease?" American Journal of Epidemiology 2000 Aug 1;152(3):290-3.
  • Jensen GE, Hansen ML. "Occupational arsenic exposure and glycosylated haemoglobin." Analyst 1998 Jan;123(1):77-80.
  • Arrighi HM, Hertz-Picciotto I. "Controlling the healthy worker survivor effect, an example of arsenic exposure and respiratory cancer." Occupational Environmental Medicine 1996 July;53(7):455-62.
  • Tollestrup K, Daling JR, Allard J. "Mortality in a cohort of orchard workers exposed to lead arsenate pesticide spray." Archives of Environmental Health 1995 May-Jun;50(3):221-9.
  • Nriagu J. Arsenic in the Environment. Hoboken(NJ): John Wiley and Sons, Ltd; 1994. Provides a two part set of a comprehensive review of arsenic, including health impacts, sources, and analytical methods.
  • Hertz-Picciotto I, et al. "Synergism between occupational arsenic exposure and smoking in the induction of lung cancer." Epidemiology 1992 Jan;3(1):23-31.
  • Jaerup L, Pershagen G. "Arsenic exposure, smoking, and lung cancer in smelter workers; a case-control study." American Journal of Epidemiology 1991 Sep 15;1346:545-51.
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