Question: What is arsenic?
Answer: Arsenic is a poisonous chemical often used in herbicides and pesticides and is classified as a Class 1 carcinogen, meaning it is highly toxic to humans. Other Class 1 carcinogens include asbestos, formaldehyde and hepatitis B and C viruses. According to the EPA, "arsenic has been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate". Other side effects of consuming arsenic can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, partial paralysis and blindness.
How much is too much?
Arsenic exists not only in the bodies of animals used for foods, such as chicken, but also in the American water supply. Although some environmental exposure to arsenic may be unavoidable, as more and more Americans reduce their consumption of red meat, they are often replacing this with chicken and fish and thus exponentially increasing their consumption of arsenic at rates never before experienced.