Monday, September 25, 2017

Chronic arsenic intoxication now more visible

Chichester, USA, 31.08.2017 - A new method of diagnosis of chronic arsenic intoxication was published today by JAT (Journal of Applied Toxicology) [1].

The authors of the new method, called CAsIDS (abbreviation for "Chronic Arsenic Intoxication Diagnostic Score") are the Brazilian MD working in Switzerland, Sergio Ulhoa Dani and his Austrian colleague, Gerhard Franz Walter.

The method is based on non-invasively estimating the bone arsenic load from the arsenic concentration in two consecutive urine samples and includes the evaluation of clinical manifestations typical of chronic arsenic intoxication in various systems and organs of the human body.

Acute arsenic poisoning, although rare these days, is easily recognized for its symptoms such as mental confusion, diarrhea, respiratory and circulatory collapse followed by death within a few hours or days.

Chronic intoxication, although more frequent than acute poisoning, is difficult to recognize because its clinical and laboratory manifestations can be mistaken with those of other diseases that kill after years or decades.

The CasiDS method helps doctors recognize chronic poisoning at different levels of certainty.

In the journal JAT, the authors present clinical examples of chronic arsenic poisoning confirmed by CAsIDS.

Among the cases presented, there is a patient from the city of Paracatu, Minas Gerais, where the Canadian Kinross Gold Corporation / Kinross Brasil Mineração explores the largest open pit gold mine in Brazil.

The arsenic released from the rocks of the mine in Paracatu is transported by water and air and contaminates the rural and urban environment and thousands of its inhabitants.

Arsenic and its compounds are generally invisible, odorless and tasteless. With CAsIDS, at least the arsenic that contaminates the human body and causes disease became more visible.


[1] Dani SU, Walter GF. Chronic arsenic intoxication diagnostic score (CAsIDS). J Appl Toxicol. 2017; 1-23.