Inorganic arsenic is a major environmental contaminant known to exert immunosuppressive effects. In this study, we report toxicity of As2O3, a trivalent inorganic form, toward isolated human hematopoietic CD34+ progenitor cells. Our results demonstrate that low concentrations of As2O3 (0.1–5 μM) inhibit in vitro proliferation of CD34+ cells and their differentiation into various hematological cell lineages. These effects were associated with the induction of a necrotic process independent of caspases and likely related to mitochondrial damage. We conclude that As2O3 can impair in vitro human hematopoiesis by decreasing survival of CD34+ progenitor cells. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol, 2008.