Arsenic Curiosa and Humanity
- Cite this article as:
- Bentley, R. & Chasteen, T.G. Chem. Educator (2002) 7: 51. doi:10.1007/s00897020539a
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.