Inorganic arsenic: A dangerous enigma for mankind

Toshihide Tsuda, Akira Babazono, Takanori Ogawa, Hirohisa Hamada, Yoshio Mino, Hideyasu Aoyama, Norio Kurumatani, Tsuyoshi Nagira, Nobuyuki Hotta, Masazumi Harada, Shigemi Inomata

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Human being have been using inorganic arsenic for a long time. Many reports on arsenic poisoning have been published: eg case reports, examination reports, post mortem reports, and epidemiological studies. Several aspects and features of arsenic poisoning are discussed in this report. Methods of inferring arsenic‐related disease, disease classification according to acute or chronic criteria, exposure route, interaction, confounding factors, and the oxidation state of arsenic are all discussed. The effects of arsenic are classified into skin, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, liver, cardiovascular system, nervous system, and bone marrow effects. Carcinogenicity is an important chronic effect of arsenic poisoning, so special attention is paid to it in this review. In Japan, there have been many incidents of arsenic poisoning. In this review, we often use data from these cases, such as the Morinaga powdered‐milk poisoning case, the Ube soy‐sauce poisoning case, the Toroku mine incident, and the Nakajo well‐water poisoning case. We emphasize here the necessity of planning follow‐up studies and total health care for patients exposed to arsenic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-322
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Organometallic Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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