, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 51-60

Arsenic Curiosa and Humanity

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Abstract

Despite its undoubted toxicity, arsenic is a much-used element, finding applications in agriculture, industry, and medicine. Arsenic as a poison has a prominent role in plays and novels as well as in real life. In medicine, arsenic was so widely used in the 19th century as a cure-all that it has been termed a “therapeutic mule.” Some arsenic compounds are still used in the treatment of parasitic disease. Moreover, in a striking development for a material regarded as a carcinogen, arsenous trioxide (brand name, Trisenox) was recently approved for treatment of leukemia. Arsenic has had a profound overall impact on human lives.