18 Facts About Arsenic


Arsenic is a chemical element with the symbol As and atomic number 33.

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Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in combination with sulfur and metals, but as a pure elemental crystal.

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Arsenic is a common n-type dopant in semiconductor electronic devices.

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Arsenic contamination of groundwater is a problem that affects millions of people across the world.

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Arsenic occurs in nature as one stable isotope, As, a monoisotopic element.

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Arsenic has a similar electronegativity and ionization energies to its lighter congener phosphorus and accordingly readily forms covalent molecules with most of the nonmetals.

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Arsenic reacts with metals to form arsenides, though these are not ionic compounds containing the As ion as the formation of such an anion would be highly endothermic and even the group 1 arsenides have properties of intermetallic compounds.

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Arsenic acid is a weak acid and the salts are called arsenates, the most common arsenic contamination of groundwater, and a problem that affects many people.

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Arsenic pentafluoride is the only important pentahalide, reflecting the lower stability of the +5 oxidation state; even so, it is a very strong fluorinating and oxidizing agent.

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Arsenic is used as the group 5 element in the III-V semiconductors gallium arsenide, indium arsenide, and aluminium arsenide.

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Arsenic is found in the smelter dust from copper, gold, and lead smelters, and is recovered primarily from copper refinement dust.

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Arsenic is used as a feed additive in poultry and swine production, in particular in the U S to increase weight gain, improve feed efficiency, and prevent disease.

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Arsenic is intentionally added to the feed of chickens raised for human consumption.

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Arsenic trioxide has been used in a variety of ways since the 15th century, most commonly in the treatment of cancer, but in medications as diverse as Fowler's solution in psoriasis.

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Arsenic has been linked to epigenetic changes, heritable changes in gene expression that occur without changes in DNA sequence.

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Arsenic can occur in the environment in several oxidation states, but in natural waters it is mostly found in inorganic forms as oxyanions of trivalent arsenite [As] or pentavalent arsenate [As].

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Arsenic is bioaccumulative in many organisms, marine species in particular, but it does not appear to biomagnify significantly in food webs.

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Arsenic's toxicity comes from the affinity of arsenic oxides for thiols.

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