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  • Arsenic Description
  • Arsenic Poisoning Frequent Signs & Symptoms
  • Arsenic Poisoning Causes
  • Arsenic Treatment
  • Nutritional, Herbal & Holistic Recommendations For Recovery
  • Supplement Recommendations
  • Notify Your Health Care Provider
  • Arsenic Poisoning Recovery Supplements & Products

  • arsenic poisons



    Arsenic is a highly poisonous metallic element that can be found in some amount in a wide variety of sources, including pesticides, laundry aids, smog, tobacco smoke, bone meal, dolomite, kelp, table salt, beer, seafood, and even drinking water. When ingested, inorganic arsenic is deposited in the hair, skin, and nails. Once it makes its way into the hair follicles, its presence can be detected in the hair shaft for years.

    Arsenic poisoning or arsenicosis is a condition caused by the ingestion, absorption or inhalation of dangerous levels of arsenic. Arsenic is a natural semi-metallic chemical that is found all over the world in groundwater. A 2007 study found that over 137 million people in more than 70 countries are probably affected by arsenic poisoning from drinking water.

    Inorganic arsenites (arsenic(III)) in drinking water have much higher acute toxicity than organic arsenates (arsenic(V)). The acute minimal lethal dose of arsenic in adults is estimated to be 70 to 200 mg, or 1 mg/kg/day.

    Arsenic poisoning kills by allosteric inhibition of essential metabolic enzymes, leading to death from multi-system organ failure. It primarily inhibits enzymes that require lipoic acid as a cofactor, such as pyruvate and alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase. Because of this, substrates before the dehydrogenase steps accumulate, such as pyruvate. It particularly affects the brain, causing neurological disturbances and death.


    In addition to its presence as a poison, for centuries arsenic was used medicinally. It has been used for over 2,400 years as a part of traditional Chinese medicine. In the western world, arsenic compounds, such as salvarsan, were used extensively to treat syphilis before penicillin was introduced. It was eventually replaced as a therapeutic agent by sulfa drugs and then by other antibiotics. Arsenic was also an ingredient in many tonics (or "patent medicines").

    During the Elizabethan era, some women used a mixture of vinegar, chalk, and arsenic applied topically to whiten their skin. This use of arsenic was intended to prevent aging and creasing of the skin, but some arsenic was inevitably absorbed into the blood stream. Some pigments, most notably the popular Emerald Green (known also under several other names), were based on arsenic compounds. Overexposure to these pigments was a frequent cause of accidental poisoning of artists and craftsmen.

    Arsenic became a favored method for murder of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, particularly among ruling classes in Italy allegedly. Because the symptoms are similar to those of cholera, which was common at the time, arsenic poisoning often went undetected. By the 19th century, it had acquired the nickname "inheritance powder," perhaps because impatient heirs were known or suspected to use it to ensure or accelerate their inheritances. Arsenic poisoning, accidental or deliberate, has been implicated in the illness and death of a number of prominent people throughout history.

  • The New Yorker: Murder By Poison, The Rise and Fall of Arsenic

  • In ancient Korea, and particularly in Joseon Dynasty, arsenic-sulfur compounds have been used as a major ingredient of sayak, which was a poison cocktail used in capital punishment of high-profile political figures and members of the royal family. Due to social and political prominence of the condemned, many of these events were well-documented, often in the Annals of Joseon Dynasty; they are sometimes portrayed in historical television miniseries because of their dramatic nature.



    Chronic arsenic poisoning is a toxic buildup of arsenic over an extended period of time and is the most common form of arsenic poisioning. Symptoms include:

  • Headaches.
  • Confusion.
  • Severe diarrhea.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Convulsions.
  • Changes in fingernail pigmentation (leukonychia striata), Mees' lines, or Aldrich-Mees' lines may occur.
  • Skin pigmentation, depigmentaion, cancer.
  • Peripheral nerves - sensorimotor neuropathy.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Hypertension of the cardiovascular system.
  • Megaloblastic anemia of the blood.
  • Nasal perforation.

  • arsenic signs in nails and skin discolorations


    Acute arsenic poisoning is a high dosage of arsenic in a single or short term period of time. Symptoms include;

  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Bloody urine.
  • Muscle cramps and/or weakness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Hair loss.
  • Dermatitis.
  • Gastrointestinal (stomach) pain.
  • Convulsions.
  • Primarily affects the lungs, skin, kidneys, and liver.
  • The accumulation of toxic levels of arsenic can result in coma and death.

  • Arsenic is related to heart disease (hypertension-related cardiovascular disease), cancer, stroke (cerebrovascular diseases), chronic lower respiratory diseases, and diabetes.


    Chronic exposure to arsenic is related to Vitamin A deficiency, which is related to heart disease and night blindness.



    Chronic arsenic poisoning results from drinking contaminated well water over a long period of time. Many aquifers contain high concentrations of arsenic salts. The World Health Organization recommends a limit of 0.01 mg/L (10 parts per billion) of arsenic in drinking water. This recommendation was established based on the limit of detection for most laboratories testing equipment at the time of publication of the WHO water quality guidelines. More recent findings show that consumption of water with levels as low as 0.00017 mg/L (0.17 parts per billion) over long periods of time can lead to arsenicosis.

    arsenic concentration in ground water USA

    From a 1988 study in China, the US protection agency quantified the lifetime exposure of arsenic in drinking water at concentrations of 0.0017 mg/L, 0.00017 mg/L, and 0.000017 mg/L are associated with a lifetime skin cancer risk of 1 in 10,000, 1 in 100,000, and 1 in 1,000,000 respectively. The World Health Organization asserts that a level of 0.01 mg/L poses a risk of 6 in 10000 chance of lifetime skin cancer risk and contends that this level of risk is acceptable.

    One of the worst incidents of arsenic poisoning via well water occurred in Bangladesh, which the World Health Organization called the "largest mass poisoning of a population in history."

    Mining techniques such as hydralic fracturing may mobilize arsenic in groundwater and aquifers due to enhanced methane transport and resulting changes in redox conditions, and inject fluid containing additional arsenic.


    Because of its high toxicity, arsenic is seldom used in the Western world, although in Asia it is still a popular pesticide. Arsenic is mainly encountered occupationally in the smelting of zinc and copper ores.

    Workers involved in pesticide production, copper smelting, making and spraying insecticides, mining, sheep dipping, metallurgical industries are at high risk for skin cancer, scrotal cancer, a type of liver cancer, cancer of the lymphatic system, and lung cancer due to arsenic exposure. The toxic effects of arsenic are cumulative. Exposure to arsenic has been implicated in the development of certain types of cancer as well.


    It has been found that rice is particularly susceptible to accumulation of arsenic from soil. Rice grown in the US has an average 260 ppb of arsenic according to a study, but US arsenic intake remains far below WHO recommended limits. China has set a standard for arsenic limits in food (150 ppb), as levels in rice exceed those in water.

    Arsenic is a ubiquitous element present in American drinking water. In the United States, levels of arsenic that are above natural levels, but still well below danger levels set in federal safety standards, have been detected in commercially grown chickens. The source of the arsenic appears to be the feed additives roxarsone and nitarsone, which are used to control the parasitic infection coccidiosis as well as to increase weight and skin coloring of the poultry. High levels of inorganic arsenic were reportedly found in 83 California wines in 2015.

    arsenic in surface soil USA

    Source: Arsenic Poisoning.



    Arsenic may be measured in blood or urine to monitor excessive environmental or occupational exposure, confirm a diagnosis of poisoning in hospitalized victims or to assist in the forensic investigation in a case of fatal over dosage. Some analytical techniques are capable of distinguishing organic from inorganic forms of the element. Organic arsenic compounds tend to be eliminated in the urine in unchanged form, while inorganic forms are largely converted to organic arsenic compounds in the body prior to urinary excretion. The current biological exposure index for U.S. workers of 35 µg/L total urinary arsenic may easily be exceeded by a healthy person eating a seafood meal.

    Tests are available to diagnose poisoning by measuring arsenic in blood, urine, hair, and fingernails. The urine test is the most reliable test for arsenic exposure within the last few days. Urine testing needs to be done within 24 to 48 hours for an accurate analysis of an acute exposure. Tests on hair and fingernails can measure exposure to high levels of arsenic over the past 6 to 12 months. These tests can determine if one has been exposed to above-average levels of arsenic. They cannot predict, however, whether the arsenic levels in the body will affect health. Chronic arsenic exposure can remain in the body systems for a longer period of time than a shorter term or more isolated exposure and can be detected in a longer time frame after the introduction of the arsenic, important in trying to determine the source of the exposure.

    Hair is a potential bioindicator for arsenic exposure due to its ability to store trace elements from blood. Incorporated elements maintain their position during growth of hair. Thus for a temporal estimation of exposure, an assay of hair composition needs to be carried out with a single hair which is not possible with older techniques requiring homogenization and dissolution of several strands of hair. This type of biomonitoring has been achieved with newer microanalytical techniques like Synchrotron radiation based X ray fluorescence (SXRF) spectroscopy and Microparticle induced X ray emission (PIXE).The highly focused and intense beams study small spots on biological samples allowing analysis to micro level along with the chemical speciation. In a study, this method has been used to follow arsenic level before, during and after treatment with Arsenious oxide in patients with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia.



    Chelation therapy removes toxic metals from the body. Chelation therapy is a long, slow process and should always be performed under the guidance of a qualified health care provider.

    Chemical and synthetic methods are used to treat arsenic poisoning. Dimercaprol and dimercaptosuccinic acid are chelating agents that sequester the arsenic away from blood proteins and are used in treating acute arsenic poisoning. The most important side effect is hypertension. Dimercaprol is considerably more toxic than succimer. DMSA monoesters, e.g. MiADMSA, are promising antidotes for arsenic poisoning. Calcium sodium edetate is also used.


    Various techniques have been evolved for arsenic removal, most frequently using absorbents such as activated carbon, aluminium oxide, co-operative with iron oxide to form sludges, adsorption onto iron-oxide-coated polymeric materials, and electrocoagulation by nanoparticle. To remove the stress of heavy and toxic metals, an environment-friendly approach must be applied and the use of naturally occurring microbes must be emphasized. Bacteria, yeast, fungi, and algae can be used for remediation processes.

    NUTRITION Supplemental Potassium decreases the risk of experiencing a life-threatening heart rhythm problem from arsenic trioxide. Coenzyme Q-10 improves circulation of the blood which allows the toxic substances to leave the body. L-Lysine, an amino acid, detoxifies harmful heavy metals from our systems. Rutin and Apple Pectin can be taken to bind with unwanted toxic metals and remove them from the body through the intestinal tract.
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Chelation Therapy
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Chemical Poisoning
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Chemical Poisoning
    MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Environmental Toxicity



  • Eat Eggs, Onions, Beans, Legumes, and Garlic to obtain dietary sulfur. You can also obtain sulfur from Garlic supplements. Sulfur helps eliminate arsenic from the body. The amino acid Cysteine also provides sulfur. Sulfur can be purchased in supplement form as well.

  • Supplement your diet with plenty of Fiber daily. Note: Always take supplemental fiber separately from other supplements and medications.

  • If you have symptoms of chronic arsenic poisoning, have a hair analysis done to determine the level of toxic metals in your body. See MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hair Analysis for more information.

  • In case of accidental arsenic ingestion, immediately take 5 Charcoal tablets, and take 5 more very 15 minutes until you reach your health care provider or the emergency room of the nearest hospital. Charcoal tablets should be kept on hand in every household in case of accidental poisoning or overdose of drugs.


    Unless otherwise specified, the dosages recommended in this section are for adults. For a child between the ages of 12 and 17 years, reduce the dose to 3/4 the recommended amount. For a child between 6 and 12, use 1/2 the recommended dose, and for a child under the age of 6, use 1/4 the recommended amount.

    Suggested Dosage
    Very Important
    Garlic (Kyolic)
    2 Capsules or Tablets 3 times daily with meals. Acts as a potent detoxifier.

  • Garlic Supplement Products
  • Superoxide Dismutase (SOD)
    As directed on label. A powerful detoxifying agent.

  • SOD Supplement Products
  • Cell Guard
    As directed on label. A powerful antioxidant complex and detoxifying agen that contains SOD.

  • Cell Guard Supplement Products
  • Vitamin C
    5,000 to 20,000 mg daily in divided doses. See Ascorbic Acid Flush. A powerful antioxidant and potent detoxifier. Use a buffered form.

  • Vitamin C Supplement Products
  • Bioflavonoids Supplement Products
  • Important
    Apple Pectin
    2 Tablespoons twice daily. A natural apple fiber that binds with metals in the colon and excretes them from the body.

  • Apple Pectin Fiber Supplement Products
  • ACES Plus Zinc
    As directed on label. An antioxidant complex formula used to protect agains free radical damage.

  • ACES Plus Zinc Supplem ent Products
  • L-Cysteine & L-Methionine
    500 mg each daily on an empty stomach. Take with water or juice. Do not take with milk. Take with 50 mg Vitamin B-2 and 100 mg Vitamin C for better absorption. Potent detoxifier of the liver. Cysteine contains sulfur, which eliminates arsenic.

  • Cysteine & NAC Supplement Products
  • Methionine Supplement Products
  • Vitamin B-2 Supplement Products
  • Vitamin C Supplement Products
  • Selenium
    200 mcg daily. Helps to rid the body of arsenic.

  • Selenium Supplement Products


  • If you have an arsenic poisoning or suspect arsenic poisoning and may need professional consultation and hair analysis testing for verification.
  • If you have any increase of symptoms or other signs of arsenic poisoning toxicity.
  • If you have any unexpected or unusual symptoms. Some people may have sensitivity, allergies, or other health conditions which would prevent them from using certain herbs or other treatments.


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