Founded by Albertus Magnus. He heated a common compound of arsenic, orpiment with soap. Nearly pure arsenic was formed in the process. Today, Arsenic is used for pigments, or poison gases. Arsenic rarely occurs as a pure element. It is usually found as a compound. These compounds are obtained as a by-product of the mining and purification of silver metal. The United States does not produce Arsenic. "Arsenic." Arsenic Explained. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.

Physical & Chemical Properties

Arsenic occurs in two allotropic forms; the more common form is shiny, gray, brittle metallic-looking solid. The less common form is a yellow crystalline solid. When heated, Arsenic doesn't melt, instead it changes into a gas. However, under high pressure, arsenic can be forced to melt at about 814°C (1,500°F). Arsenic is a metalloid. When heated in air, arsenic combines with oxygen to form arsenic oxide. A blue flame is produced, and arsenic oxide can be identified by its distinctive garlic-like odor.


  • It is used in vast pesticides for agriculture.
  • Arsenic's toxicity is actually beneficial in fighting fungus, bacteria, and insects in wood preservation.
  • In 2000, the FDA approved arsenic as a treatment for some forms of Leukemia.
  • Long term exposure to arsenic and its compounds can cause cancer. Inhalation can result in lung cancer. If swallowed, cancer is likely to develop in the bladder, kidneys, liver, and lungs. In large doses, arsenic and its compounds can cause death.
  • In low doses, arsenic produces nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In larger doses, it causes abnormal heart beat, damage to blood vessels, and a feeling of "pins and needles" in hands and feet. Small corns or warts may begin to develop on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
  • "Arsenic Facts." Facts about Arsenic. Web. 16 Dec. 2014.