chemical information


Chemical Class:


Found in these people:

Michael Lerner

Found in these locations:

Bolinas, CA


Arsenic is classified as a known human carcinogen, associated with increased risk of developing cancer of the skin, lungs, bladder, kidney, liver, and colon (NTP 2002). Longer exposures to arsenic can be deadly. Arsenic is also associated with: eye irritation and infection; skin disorders (increased pigmentation, corns, warts, itchy rash); kidney failure, anemia; respiratory toxicity (irritation, infection, breakdown of the nasal septum, lung hemorrhage, fluid accumulation); circulation disorders (Raynaud's syndrome, blood vessel constriction, cold hands and feet, numbness in hands and feet); cardiological effects (low blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, high heart rate, arrhythmia) and neurotoxicity. Neurological effects of arsenic exposure include peripheral nerve damage, hallucinations, memory loss, and agitation. A high level of arsenic in drinking water is associated with diabetes. Exposure during pregnancy is associated with spontaneous abortion, low birth weight, stillbirth, and possible malformations (ATSDR 2000a).

In laboratory animals, arsenic causes weight loss, diarrhea, lesions of the ear and feet, gastrointestinal tract lesions, liver toxicity, kidney toxicity, and increased susceptibility to infection (ATSDR 2000a). Arsenic compounds also cause lung and stomach tumors in lab animals (NTP 2002). Fetal exposure can result in decreased birth weight, fetal death, delayed growth, chromosomal abnormalities, and skeletal malformations (ATSDR 2000a).

Arsenic (inorganic only)

Known human carcinogen in pressure-treated wood and food. Common tap water pollutant.

Arsenic (inorganic only) has been found in 1 of the 9 people tested in EWG/Commonweal studies.

Results for Arsenic (inorganic only)

in urine

Showing results from EWG/Commonweal Study #1, industrial chemicals and pesticides in adults

EWG/Commonweal results

  • found in 1 of 9 people in the group
ppb in urine 21

Arsenic (inorganic only) results