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Arsenic is a tasteless and odourless natural element widely found in the earth's crust. Inorganic arsenic compounds are primarily used as pesticides and wood preservatives. Exposure to arsenic typically occurs through ingestion of contaminated drinking water or through inhalation of airborne particulates. These particulates are usually released into the environment through the burning of fossil fuels (especially coal), metal production (such as gold and base metal mining), agricultural use (in pesticides and feed additives), or by waste burning.
Arsenic is not absorbed through the skin but contact may cause redness and swelling. Inhalation of arsenic can cause abdominal pain, muscular cramping, weakness and flushing of the skin, thickening of the palms and soles, and deterioration of motor and sensory response. Chronic exposure to arsenic can cause nausea and diarrhoea, skin discolouration, decreased production of red and white blood cells, abnormal heart rhythm, damage to blood vessels, and a numbness in hands and feet.
         Regulatory Requirements 
Currently, there are no regulations pertaining to arsenic on construction projects. Industrial processes involving arsenic are regulated under the Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, Regulation 836 as amended by O.Reg. 102/04, Designated Substance – Arsenic. The transport of the waste to the disposal site is controlled by the federal Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992.