Toxno Substance Profile
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Substance Name

Lead arsenite
Identification Number: CASRN | 10031-13-7

  Substance Attributes


  • Neurotoxic Properties

    Negative impact on brain and nervous system.

  • Metabolic Interference or Disruption

    Interferes with human metabolism. This can be a very serious thing. Some of these interference mechanics are well established. However, often long term effects and health consequences remain largely unknown. Additionally an emerging area of concern and one that is not currently studied, is the combined synergistic effects these metabolically disrupting chemicals have on human health.


    Metabolic interference happens when the substance produces highly reactive and often damaging intermediates during detoxification or when the substance binds to specific enzymes, important structural groups on molecules, receptors and membranes or targets DNA or mimics key nutrients.

  • Exposure Produces Health Symptoms

    Symptoms maybe short term or long term depending on the exposure duration and intensity and effects areas like Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Cognition, Fatigue. A substance with this attribute may cause an allergic skin reaction, serious eye irritation, allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled.

These attributes are ONLY based on peer-reviewed evidence. See link to Data Sources below. Everyone benefits from knowing this stuff. Please Share.



  • CATEGORIES: Pesticide | Pollutant | Airborne Pollutant | Synthetic Toxin
  • SUBSTANCE LINEAGE: Inorganic Compounds | Mixed Metal/Non-metal Compounds | Miscellaneous Mixed Metal/Non-metals | Miscellaneous Metallic Oxoanionic Compounds | Miscellaneous Plumbites
  • SYNONYMS: Lead(II) arsenite
  • DESCRIPTION: Lead arsenite is a chemical compound of lead and arsenic. Lead is a heavy metal and stable element with the symbol Pb and the atomic number 82, existing in metallic, organic, and inorganic forms. It is mainly found in nature as the mineral galena (PbS), cerussite (PbCO3) or anglesite (PbSO4), usually in ore with zinc, silver, or copper. Arsenic is a chemical element that has the symbol As and atomic number 33. It is a poisonous metalloid that has many allotropic forms: yellow (molecular non-metallic) and several black and grey forms (metalloids) are a few that are seen. Three metalloidal forms of arsenic with different crystal structures are found free in nature (the minerals arsenopyrite and the much rarer arsenolamprite and pararsenolamprite), but it is more commonly found as a compound with other elements. (L21, T3)
  • COMMENTS:
  • toxin chemical structure pubchem
  • FORMULA: As2O4Pb
  • DATA SOURCES: DATA SOURCES: T3DB | PubChem
  • LAST UPDATE: 28/04/2018

  Health Associations

Mostly focused on Health Implications of Long Term Exposure to this substance

  • SYMPTOMS: Exposure to lower levels of arsenic can cause nausea and vomiting, decreased production of red and white blood cells, abnormal heart rhythm, damage to blood vessels, and a sensation of burn (T1).
  • POSSIBLE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: Arsenic poisoning can lead to death from multi-system organ failure, probably from necrotic cell death, not apoptosis. Arsenic is also a known carcinogen, esepcially in skin, liver, bladder and lung cancers. Lead is a neurotoxin and has been known to cause brain damage and reduced cognitive capacity, especially in children. Lead exposure can result in nephropathy, as well as blood disorders such as high blood pressure and anemia. Lead also exhibits reproductive toxicity and can results in miscarriages and reduced sperm production. (T1, L20, L21) | Lead and arsenic are absorbed following inhalation, oral, and dermal exposure. Arsenic is then distributed throughout the body, where it is reduced into arsenite if necessary, then methylated into monomethylarsenic (MMA) and dimethylarsenic acid (DMA) by arsenite methyltransferase. Arsenic and its metabolites are primarily excreted in the urine. Arsenic is known to induce the metal-binding protein metallothionein, which decreases the toxic effects of arsenic and other metals by binding them and making them biologically inactive, as well as acting as an antioxidant. Lead is distributed mainly to the bones and red blood cells. In the blood lead may be found bound to serum albumin or the metal-binding protein metallothionein. Organic lead is metabolized by cytochrome P-450 enzymes, whereas inorganic lead forms complexes with delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase. Lead is excreted mainly in the urine and faeces. (L136, L20)
  • ACTION OF TOXIN: Arsenic and its metabolites disrupt ATP production through several mechanisms. At the level of the citric acid cycle, arsenic inhibits pyruvate dehydrogenase and by competing with phosphate it uncouples oxidative phosphorylation, thus inhibiting energy-linked reduction of NAD+, mitochondrial respiration, and ATP synthesis. Hydrogen peroxide production is also increased, which might form reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress. Arsenic's carginogenicity is influenced by the arsenical binding of tubulin, which results in aneuploidy, polyploidy and mitotic arrests. The binding of other arsenic protein targets may also cause altered DNA repair enzyme activity, altered DNA methylation patterns and cell proliferation. Lead mimics other biologically important metals, such as zinc, calcium, and iron, competing as cofactors for many of their respective enzymatic reactions. For example, lead has been shown to competitively inhibit calcium's binding of calmodulin, interferring with neurotransmitter release. It exhibits similar competitive inhibition at the NMDA receptor and protein kinase C, which impairs brain microvascular formation and function, as well as alters the blood-brain barrier. Lead also affects the nervous system by impairing regulation of dopamine synthesis and blocking evoked release of acetylcholine. However, it's main mechanism of action occurs by inhibiting delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase, an enzyme vital in the biosynthesis of heme, which is a necesssary cofactor of hemoglobin. (T1, T4, A17, A20, A22, L136) | Lead is known to bind ACBP, which is responsible for the regulation of various processes such as acyl-CoA metabolism, GABA-A/benzodiazepine receptor modulation, steroidogenesis, intestinal cholecystokinin release, and insulin secretion. (A21)
  • TOXIN SITES OF ACTION IN CELL: "Cytoplasm", "Extracellular"
  • Additional Exposure Routes: Used as an insecticide (L941).

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  Exposure Routes

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