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What are some symptoms that help diagnose arsenic poisoning?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of arsenic poisoning include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and dark urine. Other signs of arsenic poisoning include cardiac issues, vertigo, delirium, shock and death. Additionally, arsenic poisoning destroys red blood cells, according to MedicineNet.

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Full Answer

Symptoms of long-term exposure to arsenic include skin discoloration and skin inflammation. Arsenic also causes Mees' lines on fingernails and sensory dysfunction. Additionally, long-term exposure to arsenic causes kidney and liver dysfunction and may lead to the development of cancers of the kidney, lung or blood. Arsenic exposure occurs through inhalation and consumption of contaminated water, beverages and food. Arsenic exposure is also possible through skin contact, as MedicineNet states.

Organic arsenic is useful in making weed killers and insecticides, explains MedicineNet. It is safe for humans in low concentration and is less poisonous than inorganic arsenic. Inorganic arsenic is a poisonous metalloid element. In gaseous form, it is called arsine gas and is extremely poisonous when inhaled. It occurs naturally in soil, lead ore deposits and water but in low concentration.

Arsenic is a heavy metal, notes MedicineNet. It strengthens alloys consisting of copper and lead. Arsenic reacts with proteins, especially thiol portions. It uncouples oxidative phosphorylation, and this inactivates most cellular functions.

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