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ACUTE EXPOSURE INFORMATION
- Sodium cacodylate is an organic, pentavalent arsenical compound. It is a white or yellow, amorphous powder or crystalline solid which may be odorless or have a faint odor. It is advisable to treat all arsenic compounds as highly toxic.
- Organic arsenic compounds are better absorbed by the dermal route than are inorganic arsenic compounds. The dust is irritating and corrosive to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Anorexia, nausea, abdominal pain, and elevated urinary arsenic levels have been observed after dermal contact. Organic arsenicals may be more toxic by mouth than injection due to the rapid release of inorganic arsenic by gastric acid. Chronic laryngitis and dermatitis may occur after chronic exposure.
- In experimental animals, sodium cacodylate has caused fetal deaths and fetotoxicity. Sodium cacodylate is regarded as a human carcinogen.
- Acute arsenic ingestion generally produces symptoms within 30 to 60 minutes, but onset may be delayed for several hours if ingested with food. A metallic or garlic taste, vomiting, abdominal pain, dysphagia, and profuse watery (rice-water-like) and sometimes bloody diarrhea may occur. Dehydration, intense thirst, and fluid-electrolyte disturbances are common. Hypovolemia from capillary leaking ("third spacing" of fluids) is a common early sign.
- Systemic arsenic poisoning from occupational exposure is uncommon. Arsenic workers have developed a hoarse voice, nasal irritation and possibly perforation of the nasal septum, irritation of eyes, skin, and mucous membranes, and rarely, cirrhosis of the liver. Nausea and vomiting are infrequent. Painful ulceration of the wrist and scrotal skin, lips, and nostrils may develop with dust exposure.
- The primary target organs initially are the gastrointestinal tract, heart, brain, and kidneys. Eventually, the skin, bone marrow, and peripheral nervous system may be significantly damaged. The peripheral neuropathy appears to be similar regardless of the route of exposure.
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