CAS No. 7440-38-2
Arsenic (As) is a white to gray, brittle solid. It occurs naturally in water and soil. Arsenic can be harmful to the eyes, skin, liver, kidneys, lungs, and lymphatic system. Exposure to arsenic can also cause cancer. Workers may be harmed from exposure to arsenic. The level of exposure depends upon the dose, duration, and work being done.
Arsenic is used in many industries. It is used in some paints, wood preservatives, agricultural chemicals, and in glass manufacturing. Some examples of workers at risk of being exposed to arsenic include the following:
- Agricultural or farm workers exposed to some farming chemicals
- Employees involved in glass manufacturing
- Construction and mine workers exposed to arsenic-containing soil
- Recyclers exposed to electronic or e-waste
- Workers who perform nonferrous smelting—a process to extract metal from ore
NIOSH recommends that employers use Hierarchy of Controls to prevent injuries. If you work in an industry that uses arsenic, please read chemical labels and the accompanying Safety Data Sheets for hazard information. Visit NIOSH’s page on Managing Chemical Safety in the Workplace to learn more about controlling chemical workplace exposures.
The following resources provide information about occupational exposure to arsenic. Useful search terms for arsenic include “arsenia” and “arsenic metal.”
The NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards (NPG) helps workers, employers, and occupational health professionals recognize and control workplace chemical hazards.
The NIOSH Manual of Analytical Methods (NMAM) is a collection of methods for sampling and analysis of contaminants in workplace air, and in the blood and urine of workers who are occupationally exposed.
The Health Hazard Evaluation Program (HHE) conducts onsite investigations of possible worker exposure to chemicals. Search the HHE database for more information on arsenic.
- NIOSHTIC-2 search results on arsenic—NIOSHTIC-2 is a searchable database of worker safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and journal articles supported in whole or in part by NIOSH.
- Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDHL) Value Profile: Arsenic (inorganic compounds, as As)—NIOSH reviews relevant scientific data and researches methods for developing IDLH values.
- NIOSH Worker Health Study Summaries—NIOSH conducts research to prevent illnesses and injuries in the workplace. The NIOSH Worker Notification Program notifies workers and other stakeholders about the findings of these research studies.
- NIOSH Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure Standard for Arsenic—DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 75-149. This report increases awareness and recommends work practices to reduce exposures.
- NIOSH Skin Notation (SK) Profiles: Arsenic and Inorganic Arsenic Containing Compounds—DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2017-184.
- NIOSH Occupational Safety and Health Guidelines for Arsenic—This guideline summarizes pertinent information about inorganic arsenic for workers, employees, and health and safety professionals.
- Elements, Arsenic, by ICP (Aqua Regia Ashing) No. 7301—Sampling and measurement, NMAM, fourth edition.
- Elements, Arsenic, by ICP (Hotblock/HCL/HNO3 Digestion) No. 7303—Sampling and measurement, NMAM, fourth edition.
- Elements on Wipes, Arsenic No. 9102—Sampling and measurement, NMAM, fourth edition.
- ATSDR ToxFAQs for Arsenic
- ATSDR Case Study in Environmental Medicine: Arsenic Toxicity
- ATSDR Toxicological Profile for Arsenic
- EPA Chemistry Dashboard: Arsenic
- EPA Hazard Summary: Arsenic Compounds
- EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS): Arsenic, Inorganic
- NLM Haz-Map: Arsenic
- NLM TOXNET: Arsenic, Elemental
- NTP Report on Carcinogens, Fourteenth Edition: Arsenic and Inorganic Arsenic Compounds
- OSHA Occupational Chemical Database: Arsenic
- OSHA Hazard Communication
- OSHA Safety and Health Topic: Arsenic
- Risk Assessment Information System (RAIS): Arsenic
- New Jersey Hazardous Substance Fact Sheets: Arsenic
- American Cancer Society: Arsenic and Cancer Risk
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS): Arsenic
- European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)
- Gestis Substance Database
- IARC Monograph Vol 100C: Arsenic
- International Chemical Safety Card: Arsenic
- IPCS INCHEM Environmental Health Criteria 18: Arsenic
- OECD Global Portal to Information on Chemical Substances
- WHO IARC Monographs Vol. 100C: Arsenic and Arsenic Compounds
- Page last reviewed: November 2, 2018
- Page last updated: November 2, 2018
- Content source:
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division