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PEHSU Fact Sheet: Arsenic in Food > Health Effects and State of the Science

Health Effects and State of the Science

posted on Jun 23, 2021

There is no level of inorganic arsenic in food that is safe. An ingestion of a very high amount of arsenic-containing product can cause a serious sudden illness. Chronic high-level inorganic arsenic exposure, as from elevated water levels, has been associated with chronic skin problems and future development of a variety of adult cancers of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate, as well as respiratory and cardiovascular disease, but patients are unlikely to complain of specific symptoms or signs. Low-level exposure, more typical of some well water or food products, has possible health effects on learning and neuromotor function in children. It is important for health care providers to have an index of suspicion for arsenic-based on suspected or confirmed exposure to some well water or food.