Arsine Exposure: Overview

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:42 by admin
Arsine is a colorless gas that does not burn the eyes, nose, or throat like some other dangerous gases. It may have a garlic-like or fishy smell at relatively high concentrations. However, a person can be exposed to a significant concentration of arsine and not be able to smell it. Certain ores or metals may contain traces of arsenic. If water or acid contacts these ores or metals, they may release small amounts of arsine gas. Arsine is widely used in manufacturing of fiber optic equipment and computer microchips. It is sometimes used in galvanizing, soldering, etching, and lead plating. Besides the odor, there may be no other immediate sign that a person is breathing arsine gas. Arsine gas destroys red blood cells, causing anemia (destruction of red blood cells) and kidney damage. Within hours after a serious exposure, a victim may develop dark red or brown urine, back pain or stomach pain, weakness, or shortness of breath. Their eyes or skin may become yellow or bronze in color. Although arsine is related to arsenic, it does not produce the usual signs of arsenic poisoning. There is no antidote for arsine poisoning, but its effects can be treated. Symptoms usually begin 2 to 24 hours after a serious exposure. People who have no signs of poisoning during this time probably have not inhaled a significant amount of arsine gas. Most people do not have long-term effects from a single, low dose exposure to arsine. In rare cases, permanent kidney damage or nerve damage may develop after significant exposure. Repeated exposure to arsine may cause skin and lung cancer. There are no specific tests for arsine exposure. However, blood, urine and other tests may show if there has been any serious injury to the lungs, blood cells, kidneys, or nerves.

See your doctor if you have experienced serious health problems because of exposure to arsine. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Toxic & Hazardous Substances
  2. Anemia
  3. Breathing: Overview
  4. Cancer
  5. Digestive Disorders: Overview
  6. Fatigue: Overview
  7. Kidney Failure
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