2 Pages


On ingestion arsenic is effectively absorbed by the gastrointestinal system and also may enter the body via the respiratory system. The kidneys are the primary pathway for the elimination of arsenic; however, it also is lost from the body as a result of desquamation (loss of stratified squamous epithelium-skin), in sweat, hair, and in the fingernails and toenails. Signs of chronic arsenic toxicity are evidenced in the nails by the presence of horizontal white bands (i.e., Mee’s lines). Acute arsenic toxicity includes anorexia, hepatomegaly, possible cardiovascular failure, and death (threshold LD of >70mg). Chronic toxicity results in both CNS and PNS pathologies, including muscle weakness and loss of sensory perception.