Arsine poisoning can happen to workers in certain industries where exposure to this compound is a common occurrence. Arsine is flammable and pyrophoric, meaning it reacts explosively with oxygen in the air. Arsine is a colorless gas but has a detectable odor which is reported to smell like garlic or fish. The route of arsine poisoning is through inhalation. Symptoms usually begin to manifest within hours of exposure. Arsine attaches to the hemoglobin portion of red blood cells. Hemoglobin normally binds oxygen for delivery to all the cells of the body. When the body detects hijacking of hemoglobin by arsine, it destroys the red blood cells. Massive red cell destruction can result in anemia (where the body tissues are not getting enough oxygen), but also kidney damage. Huge influxes of unprocessed cellular debris in the blood can clog, damage, and result in failure of the kidneys to properly filter the blood. Symptom severity is dependent on the amount of compound exposed to, the length of exposure, and the route of exposure. The body will attempt to rid itself of arsine via the kidneys, sweat, fecal material, and bile.
Workers in the following industrial production are more prone to arsine poisoning than most:

  • Etching
  • Galvanizing
  • Laser components
  • Lead plating
  • Microelectronic components
  • Organoarsenic compounds
  • Semiconductor manufacturing
  • Soldering
  • Byproduct of some pesticides

Symptoms of arsine toxicity:

  • Hemolytic anemia/hemoglobinuria
  • Confusion
  • Dark urine
  • Decreased urine output
  • Dyspnea
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Jaundice
  • Myalgia (muscle pain)
  • Nephropathy (kidney damage that may be irreversible)
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Oliguria (decreased urine output)
  • Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
  • Unsteadiness
  • Weakness

Complications of arsine exposure:

  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage/failure
  • Marrow suppression (new red cells production impaired, decreasing amounts of other blood components also)

Poisoning by arsine may be confused with other types of poisonings or urinary and kidney afflictions.

If you or loved one suffered harm due to the toxic substance arsine, you may be eligible for monetary damages. Call the experts at the Sweeney Law Firm and let us review the facts. If we take your personal injury case, there is no fee for representation. We work on a contingency fee basis- this means we only get paid if a settlement or recovery of funds is made on your behalf.

Other poisoning articles on this site: Mercury, Lead, Cadmium, Thallium, Arsenic, Boron trichloride, Boron trifluoride, Hydrogen fluoride, Fluorine, Ammonia, Carbon disulfide, Formaldehyde, Ethylene oxide, Diborane, Hydrochloric acid, Sulfuric acid