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ACUTE EXPOSURE INFORMATION
- Sodium arsenate is a colorless to white, odorless, crystalline solid, pentavalent, inorganic arsenic compound. Arsenic is a human carcinogen, and sodium arsenate is an experimental tumorigen and teratogen. It has caused mutations in human lymphocytes. It is advisable to treat all arsenic compounds as highly toxic.
- Acute arsenic ingestion generally produces symptoms within 30 to 60 minutes, but symptom onset may be delayed for several hours if ingested with food. A metallic or garlic taste, vomiting, abdominal pain, dysphagia, and profuse watery (rice-water-like) and sometimes bloody diarrhea may occur. Dehydration, intense thirst, and fluid-electrolyte disturbances are common. Hypovolemia from capillary leaking (third spacing of fluids) is a common early event.
- Systemic arsenic poisoning from occupational exposure is uncommon. Arsenic workers have developed a hoarse voice; nasal irritation and possibly perforation of the nasal septum; irritation of eyes, skin, and mucous membranes; and rarely, cirrhosis of the liver. Nausea and vomiting are infrequent. Painful ulceration of the wrist and scrotal skin, lips, and nostrils may develop with dust exposure.
- The primary target organs initially are the gastrointestinal tract, heart, brain, and kidneys. Eventually, the skin, bone marrow, and peripheral nervous system may be significantly damaged. The peripheral neuropathy appears similar regardless of the route of exposure.
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