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An Introduction to Arsenic

This chapter provides an introduction to the element arsenic and to its position in the consciousness of the general public as number one in the poison index. Its association with poison has even led to the satirical suggestion that it should be removed from the chemistry periodic table—this despite the fact that it is one of the natural elements that make up the Earth. Many people are uncomfortable with chemicals, and within this general chemophobia, arsenophobia has a particularly powerful position. The association has been used to great effect in plays such as Arsenic and Old Lace, but has also been used to add emotional wallop to sell everything from lingerie to paint to music. This chapter reinforces how arsenic is uniquely embedded in our social fabric, probably to a greater degree than any other element.

Publication details

Print publication date
07 Dec 2016
Copyright year
Print ISBN
ePub eISBN