Q:

Where does arsenic come from?

A:

Quick Answer

Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment and is often found within the Earth's crust, extending its presence into soil, water and rock. Arsenic is also forced into the air during certain chemical processes, causing environmental contamination. Arsenic is a poisonous substance, classified as a metalloid.

Know More

Full Answer

Because of the location of arsenic in geological formations, the contamination of ground water and drinking water is often a concern. This is especially common in non-urban areas that contain wells for drinking. Arsenic is poisonous to any multi-cellular organism, including humans.

Because of its damaging properties, it is often used in pesticides and poisons to exterminate unwanted pests. Arsenic has other uses, such as being an ingredient in car batteries and the strengthening of copper alloys.

Arsenic is the 53rd most abundant material found within the Earth's crust, and common soil contains roughly 1 to 10 parts per million of arsenic. This metalloid is commercially produced in some countries, such as China, Chile and Morocco. The mass production of arsenic in standardized cultures, such as the United States and Europe, has primarily ceased because of the poisonous effects of the toxin.

Many mystery novels pay an homage to arsenic, as it was widely used as a murder weapon before science was able to detect its traces in a cadaver.

Learn more about Chemistry

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How reactive is arsenic?

    A:

    Arsenic is not particularly reactive though yellow arsenic is the most reactive and reacts with halogens under controlled conditions, fluorine and slowly with air (oxidization only). Arsenic does not react with water and is not explosive.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does arsenic kill?

    A:

    Arsenic deaths most often result from acute poisoning and involve heart failure due to hypovolemic shock. Hypovolemic shock consists of a severe loss of blood and fluids, resulting in a decrease in cardiovascular function.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where does ricin come from?

    A:

    Ricin comes from the castor bean plant, scientifically called Ricinus communis. The substance originates mainly in the bean but can be found in lesser amounts in other parts of the plant. Ricin is a toxin that causes death by interfering with the protein-making parts of cells.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the definition of "arsenic"?

    A:

    Arsenic is a naturally occurring semi-metal element. Its atomic number is 33, and its only stable isotope has an atomic weight of 74.92. Arsenic has been used since ancient times, but it was first isolated by the German chemist Albertus Magnus in 1250.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore