What Are the Health Risks of Inorganic Arsenic?

Arsenic occurs naturally in the earth and is released into rocks, soil, water, and air. It also gets into soil as a result of industrial pollution and arsenic-based pesticides that have been applied to soil. There are two primary types, inorganic, which is found in contaminated water and also released through industry and in building products (such as pressure-treated wood) and organic.


Inorganic arsenic is far more dangerous than the organic variety. It is a powerful carcinogen that has been linked to an increased risk of several types of cancer, including bladder, kidney, lung, and skin. According to the EPA:8



"Chronic inorganic arsenic exposure is known to be associated with adverse health effects on several systems of the body, but is most known for causing specific types of skin lesions (sores, hyperpigmentation, and other lesions) and increased risks of cancer of the lungs and skin."



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