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Arsenic Health Effects

Water Quality Control

  1. I. Katsoyiannis,
  2. A. Zouboulis

Published Online: 15 APR 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.wq41

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Katsoyiannis, I. and Zouboulis, A. 2005. Arsenic Health Effects. Water Encyclopedia. 2:15–18.

Author Information

  1. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2005


The toxicity of inorganic arsenic species depends mainly on their valence state (usually −3, +3, or +5) and also on the specific physical and chemical properties of the compounds in which it occurs. Trivalent (arsenite, AsIII) compounds are generally more toxic than pentavalent (arsenate, AsV) compounds, whereas arsenic compounds that are more soluble in water, usually are more toxic and more likely to present systemic effects, in comparison with less soluble compounds, which are more likely to cause chronic pulmonary effects, if inhaled. Among the most toxic inorganic arsenic compounds is arsine gas (AsH3). Additionally, note that laboratory animals (commonly used for toxicity evaluation) are generally less sensitive than humans to the toxic effects of inorganic arsenic compounds.


  • arsenic;
  • compounds;
  • speciation;
  • metabolism;
  • disposition;
  • toxicity;
  • mechanisms;
  • health effects