oa Central African Journal of Medicine - On living in a arsenical atmosphere. Part 1: Hair arsenic

Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Arsenical dust falling onto human hair is absorbed and cannot all be washed off. For this reason the use of hair as a measure of metabolized arsenic in areas where there is atmospheric arsenical pollution is completely misleading. This fact is unknown to many clinicians in Zimbabwe and possibly elsewhere, where heavy pollution may exist near mining locations, and lighter pollution may occur around thermal power stations, and in other situations. Though humans can live healthily in a highly polluted atmosphere given a modicum of care, flora, fauna and many domestic animals are seriously at risk of death and ill health, with severe effects on the ecosystem of the affected countryside.

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