Toxic compounds such as strychnine, arsenic, and cyanide are readily accessible for sale on the internet, according to leading toxicologists. To show how simple it is to procure poisons, the Guardian purchased ancient flypaper laced with 200 to 400 milligrams of arsenic from the online marketplace eBay. The paper was sold by a California company that claims its product is from a rare species of arum grown only in India.
Arsenic is used in medicine, but only in small amounts. The most common form of arsenic used in medicine is arsenite, which is converted into arsenic trioxide by an enzyme found in blood cells. Arsenic trioxide has been shown to be effective in treating acute promyelocytic leukemia-a type of cancer of the blood cells-when used in combination with other drugs.
As far as buying arsenic for personal use is concerned, scientists say this is possible but unlikely. Arsenic is classified as a hazardous substance (class A) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This means that it can be bought only from licensed dealers who are required by law to maintain detailed records of all their sales. As well, vendors are not allowed to sell products containing more than 15 percent arsenic by weight.
The newspaper did not receive any warning letters from federal regulators regarding its purchase of arsenic flypaper, nor had they ever heard of such a thing before it was purchased.
Arsenic may be present in a wide range of home products, including paint and insecticides. Arsenic is typically found in enterprises that manufacture the following products:
Many popular water brands contain tiny quantities of arsenic, even if they surpass safety regulations. Aquafina, Dasani, Evian, Deer Park, Fiji, and Poland Spring brands were deemed to have acceptable low arsenic levels by Consumer Reports. However, other brands such as California Water Service's Aralar, Big River's Natural Life, Blue Mountain Lake's Pure Country Water, and Santa Cruz & Sons' Santa Cruz Water may contain higher amounts of arsenic. Arsenic is a natural component of rock formations where it occurs in three forms: arsenite As(III), arsenate As(V), and arsine (AsH3). It is estimated that 70% of all arsenic in the United States is found in groundwater.
There are several methods used to remove arsenic from water. One method involves oxidizing most of the arsenic out of the water using chlorine or another oxidant. This process is called "chlorination" or "ozonation". Another method uses aluminum oxide to absorb some of the arsenic out of the water. This process is called "adsorption". Still another method involves removing most of the arsenic from the water using filtration techniques followed by treatment with chemicals to further reduce the amount of arsenic left in the water. This last process is called "removal by precipitation/filtration".
Arsenic is very toxic to humans. Arsenic is extremely harmful since it has no taste or odor, so you might be exposed to it without knowing it. While arsenic occurs naturally, it is also available in inorganic (or "man-made") forms. These are commonly found in agriculture, mining, and industry. Arsenic can enter the body through ingestion (eating), inhalation (breathing), or injection (poisoning). The most common symptoms of arsenic exposure include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, skin rashes, and changes in mood. People who ingest high levels of arsenic may show signs of nerve damage, including loss of feeling in their hands and feet. Individuals who are exposed to higher levels of arsenic may experience internal organ damage, including the liver, kidney, lungs, heart, and brain.
Those who work with arsenic should follow certain safety procedures to prevent exposure. Workers should use protection, such as protective clothing and shoes, when handling arsenic. They should also use caution not to contaminate themselves by touching equipment that has been used to handle arsenic. Finally, they should never eat or drink anything while on the job. Those who work with arsenic should always wear protective gear, such as gloves, a face mask, and protective clothes.
The danger of arsenic exposure is especially great for children and pregnant women. Since these groups of people have not developed any natural defenses against arsenic, it can cause serious health problems for them.
A lesser-known application of arsenic as a deliberate poison is as a chemical warfare weapon. Arsenicals, which comprised arsenic trichloride, dichloromethylarsine, and others, were employed by both the Germans and the Allies during World War I. Their toxicity and fast acting nature made them attractive weapons to use in close-quarter battles such as trench warfare.
Arsenic is toxic to humans in very small quantities. The usual route of exposure is through food, especially rice and seafood, since arsenic compounds are found in many pesticides and fungicides. Other sources include water, wood products, and certain minerals. Exposure can also occur indirectly via the atmosphere or via consumer products such as shampoos and cleansers. The body absorbs arsenic primarily through the skin and lungs. It is highly toxic to humans, animals, and plants. Arsenic has been used in chemical warfare for over a hundred years but its continued use as a weapon poses a risk to civilians and soldiers who come into contact with it through accidents or on purpose.
During World War I, arsenicals were used by both sides as nerve agents. The Germans produced several varieties of these chemicals including arsenic acid, which is still used today in some laboratory experiments.
High amounts of arsenic and lead were identified in products such as Great Value (Walmart) Balsamic Vinegar, Rachel Ray Balsamic Reduction, Colavita Balsamic Vinegar, Wegmans Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, and Alessi Balsamic Reduction. These products all claim to be "natural" or "organic." Although organic standards prohibit the use of pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers, they do not restrict the use of arsenic-containing pesticides. Therefore, these products may contain arsenic.
Arsenic is a natural component of rock salt deposits and exists in three forms: arsenite [As(III)], arsenate [As(V)], and arsine [AsH3]. It can enter the human body through skin contact with soil containing arsenic or inhalation of its compounds. There are several reports of people who have eaten food that has been contaminated with arsenic. The most common way this occurs is when people eat fruits and vegetables that have been grown in arsenic-contaminated soil. Arsenic can also be found in animal products, including meat, dairy products, and eggs. People who eat these products could also be exposed to too much arsenic. In addition, some traditional medicines contain arsenic drugs which can cause serious side effects if taken incorrectly or over a long period of time.
As a result, arsenic residues can be discovered in apples and other fruits and vegetables. Large quantities of arsenic consumption have been related to some types of cancer and other health issues. The Food and Drug Administration has ruled that apple juice marketed in the United States contains extremely minute quantities of arsenic and is safe to consume. However, higher amounts of arsenic content can be found in certain varieties of apples such as McIntosh.
Arsenic has been used for centuries in traditional medicine practices to treat illnesses. It may help fight infection symptoms, reduce pain, and heal wounds. However, excessive amounts of arsenic in the body can be toxic. Arsenic exposure can occur through ingestion of arsenic-contaminated food or drink, inhalation of arsenic-containing dust, or injection of arsenic-containing drugs. Chronic exposure can lead to skin lesions, heart disease, diabetes, neurological problems, respiratory illness, and cancer. Women who are pregnant or might become pregnant should not eat any fruit that has detectable levels of arsenic.
As a result, patients should consider these facts before starting them on an arsenic treatment regimen. Patients should also be informed that arsenic treatment plans must include a drug combination designed to prevent arsinosis. These combinations usually include a chelating agent such as edetic acid or ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). They work by removing arsenic from its protein binding sites so it can be eliminated via the urine.