Overview

Arsenic is a trace element that naturally occurs in foods, such as rice. Organic arsenic is usually safe, but another form, inorganic arsenic, can be toxic.

The role of arsenic in the body isn't well understood. Most adults probably eat about 12-50 mcg of arsenic every day from a usual diet. Some experts have suggested that an average adult should have 12-25 mcg daily.

People use homeopathic preparations of arsenic for arsenic poisoning, COVID-19, seizures, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses. Homeopathic preparations are often so dilute that they contain little or no arsenic.

Inorganic arsenic compounds, which are different than organic arsenic, are considered poisonous. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies inorganic arsenic as a known cancer-causing agent. The maximum amount of arsenic allowed in drinking water is 10 mcg per liter.

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