Arsenic is a chemical element a metalloid that exists as a pure crystal element and also in amalgamation with other metals like sulphur. Arsenic has been proven to be a powerful tool in fighting the battles against stubborn cancers but the fact that ingestion of arsenic in excess levels can prove to be really hazardous and at times can even cause death. Arsenic is a semi-metallic compound that is almost omnipresent and hence it makes it even more imperative to understand its health effects.
10 Health Effects of Arsenic
Following are the health effects of arsenic:
Although arsenic is used as a tool against cancer but arsenic has also been seen as a potential source of cancer. Prominent and elongated exposure to arsenic can lead to cancer in bladders, skin, lungs and even kidneys. Ingestion of arsenic through contaminated water is one of the major contributors of cancers. Inhalation of arsenic can also lead to lung cancer. The time and intensity of exposure to arsenic will determine the severity of the cancer. Arsenic is observed to carcinogenic to humans.
2) Changes in Skin
When one is exposed to arsenic through contaminated water, he or she will sooner or later observe some noticeable changes in their skin. The skin thickens and also the pigmentation and the texture of the skin get altered. Exposure to arsenic also leads to skin lesions at times. Hyperkeratosis where in patches on palms and feet are observed are also the outcome of long term exposure to dangerous levels of arsenic. This situation is often an antecedent to skin cancer.
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3) Multiple Organ System Effect
Sustained exposure to arsenic leads to multiple organ system effects which include some problematic situations like fatty degeneration of the heart, brown pigmentation, hepatic lesions, and anorexia, localized enema which is referred to swelling of soft tissues due to overproduction of interstitial fluids and weakness and pain in muscles.
4) Clastogenic Damage
Arsenic also has the potential to alter the chromosomes in the cells and this activity or process is popularly known as Clastogenic damage. It can damage chromosomes to great extents though cases of damage to individual genes have not been observed.
5) Harmful Effects on Children
Arsenic is one of the major reasons behind infant mortality. It also leads to a lot of complications during pregnancy and adversative pregnancy conclusions as its resultant. It also has bad impacts on children’s health and also hinders cognitive development.
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6) Gastrointestinal Effects
These are generally caused due to both ingestion of and exposure to arsenic. It involves problem like enhanced permeability of blood vessels leading to massive loss of fluids, excessive inflammation of the mucus in the stomach and also slashes of the gut. In some cases, haemorrhagic gastroenteritis may be observed along with bloody diarrhoea. Long term exposure of arsenic also leads to enhanced levels of liver enzymes.
7) Other Adverse Health Effects of Arsenic
Inorganic arsenic is poisonous. Prolonged exposure to arsenic contributes to some deadly problems like neurotoxicity, developmental damage, diabetes, cardiovascular issues and pulmonary disorders. Arsenic also leads to the deadly black-foot disease which is a disorder of blood vessels that culminates into gangrene.
8) Renal Problems
Arsenic can lead to chronic kidney diseases. Arsenic has the potential to damage renal and in many cases it has led to renal failures as well.
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9) Reproductive Problems
Cases of abortions have been observed because of arsenic. It also contributes to congenital deformities. Adverse pregnancy results are also one of the outcomes of arsenic. Arsenic can lead to the production of an infant that doesn’t even get 12 hours to live.
10) Neurological Effects
Elongated exposure to arsenic can lead to peripheral neuropathy which refers to the situation where innerve damage leads to feebleness, pain and unresponsiveness. Arsenic leads to various problems like muscle impassiveness, sweating, muscle cramps and spontaneous pains.
These were some deadly health effects of arsenic that one should be aware of. Arsenic is always close to you and hence it can affect you to great extents. Stay aware and stay safe!
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