My purpose in this paper is to call attention to another possible source of arsenic poisoning, namely tobacco. All of the tobacco on the American market contains arsenic in a form which may be taken up by the human body.
For years farmers have been using lead arsenate as an insecticide on tobacco to kill the horn worm. Nothing is done during the agricultural or manufacturing process to remove it. Probably nothing can be done.
Usually when any worker attempts to tie up a manufacturing process in which large amounts of money are involved with human diseases, a great furor is raised. This is not my intention.
Lead arsenate is essential to the tobacco industry. It should be considered as an industrial hazard. Farmers use it as an insecticide because it is the most efficient and inexpensive one available. Indeed, its efficiency is probably responsible for the fact that it
BARKSDALE EE. CUTANEOUS MANIFESTATION FROM TOBACCO: WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO ARSENICAL EXFOLIATIVE DERMATITIS. JAMA. 1940;115(9):672–676. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.1940.02810350016005
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