Clinical symptoms and management of chronic poisoning of Heavy metals – Arsenic: Heavy metal poisoning is the accumulation of heavy metals, in toxic amounts, in the soft tissues of the body. Symptoms and physical findings associated with heavy metal poisoning vary according to the metal accumulated. Many of the heavy metals, such as zinc, copper, chromium, iron and manganese, are essential to body function in very small amounts. But, if these metals accumulate in the body in concentrations sufficient to cause poisoning, then serious damage may occur. The heavy metals most commonly associated with poisoning of humans are lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. Heavy metal poisoning may occur as a result of industrial exposure, air or water pollution, foods, medicines, improperly coated food containers, or the ingestion of lead-based paints. Ingestion of arsenic is relatively common in the setting of homicide and is occasionally used in deliberate self-poisoning. Arsine gas and CCA exposure are not uncommon industrial exposures. Most organs can be involved and the diagnosis may not be obvious.
This topic describes: Toxicity levels, Mechanism, Clinical (Toxic) Symptoms, Investigations/Diagnosis and Management of chronic poisoning of Heavy metals.