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Toxicological Aspects Related to Environmental Arsenic Exposure

Punit Puri 1, Zorawar Singh 2 and Gurpreet Kaur 2


DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10658483


Heavy metals can be described as those naturally occurring metals or metalloids which have considerably high atomic weight. Generally, Arsenic (As), Lead (Pb), Mercury (Hg), Cadmium (Cd) and Chromium (Cr) are regarded as heavy metals in matters concerning public health due to their significant ill effects on the environment. Heavy metals including arsenic result in biomagnification involving a significant increase in their concentration as we move from lower to higher trophic levels across the food chain up to humans. The toxic effects depend upon many factors like the chemical nature, route, duration and dose of exposure along with the age, gender, genetic makeup and nutritional status of the exposed animals. Arsenic exists both in organic and inorganic forms and is considered to be one of the systemic toxicants known to cause damage to multiple organs even at minuscule levels of exposure. Arsenic is a necessary ultra-trace element for various organisms and has several valuable industrial applications in the manufacturing of pesticides, pyrotechnics, semiconductor devices, solar cells, light-emitting diodes, integrated circuit chips, etc. On the other hand, arsenic is a major environmental pollutant and has also been listed as Category I carcinogen for humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Apart from its carcinogenic potential, arsenic also has mutagenic, teratogenic and epigenetic effects on various animals. This review briefly outlines the different modes of arsenic exposure, description of toxic effects of arsenic, its clinical manifestations and underlying molecular mechanisms as determined by various studies carried out on different animal models. Preventive measures for arsenicosis and various modes of treatment have also been discussed. Conclusively, environmental exposure to arsenic should be minimized by using appropriate protective gear and equipment, to reduce the associated health hazards.


1 Department of Zoology, DAV College, Jalandhar, Punjab, India
2 Department of Zoology, Khalsa College Amritsar, Punjab, India



Puri P, Singh Z and Kaur G (2024) Toxicological Aspects Related to Environmental Arsenic Exposure. Environ Sci Arch 3(1): 72-86.


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