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Exposure to arsenic

Document
Last amended 
8 June 2015

Non melanotic malignant neoplasm of the skin - Exposure to arsenic Factor

The requirements for some arsenic exposure is the same for both reasonable hypothesis and for balance of probabilities Statement of Principles but most are different in terms of the duration of exposure required.

  • Being exposed to arsenic as specified in the reasonable hypothesis Statement of Principles
  • Being exposed to arsenic as specified in the balance of probabilities Statement of Principles

Compounds containing arsenic are not now recommended for therapeutic use.  Formerly they were taken internally - Fowler's solution and Asiatic pills as a treatment for psoriasis and Donovan's solution as treatment for venereal diseases.

A veteran or member would not have consumed drinking water with an arsenic content higher than 0.05 ppm during service in Australia.  This is because in major Australian reticulated water supplies, concentrations of arsenic range up to 0.015 µg/litre (this is equivalent to 0.015 ppm), with typical values usually less than 0.005 µg/litre.

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element which can be introduced into water through the dissolution of minerals and ores, or from industrial effluent, atmospheric deposition, drainage from old gold mines, or the use of some types of sheep dip.

Arsenic is used in many pesticides including:

  • Insecticides – such as CCA (copper chrome arsenate) treatment of timber, arsenic trioxide treatment of buildings
  • Herbicides - used to control vegetation; dimethyl arsenic acid (or cacodylic acid) was in the Agent Blue used in Vietnam as a defoliant for military purposes.
  • Rodenticides - used to control rats or mice
  • Parasiticides - used to control parasites.

If excessive arsenic exposure is suspected blood and urine tests would be conducted as well as an ECG, and sensory conduction tests particularly in the lower limbs.  Some investigation would be done to determine the source of arsenic poisoning in order to prevent on-going exposure.

Last reviewed for CCPS 26 September 2007.

Investigative Documents
Type Title PDF Format Word Format
Claimant Report
Exposure to Arsenic
CR9241.pdf
CR9241.docx
Preliminary questions [12812]

12957 there is some evidence that exposure to arsenic as specified may be a factor in the development of the condition under consideration.

12833 the veteran has been exposed to arsenic as specified at some time.

12834  the veteran has established the causal connection between the exposure to arsenic as specified and VEA service for the clinical onset of non-melanotic malignant neoplasm of the skin.

12835   the veteran has established the causal connection between the exposure to arsenic as specified and operational service for the clinical onset of non-melanotic malignant neoplasm of the skin.

or

12836   the veteran has established the causal connection between the exposure to arsenic as specified and eligible service for the clinical onset of non-melanotic malignant neoplasm of the skin.

Clinical onset and operational service [12835]

31444 the veteran was exposed to arsenic as specified in the reasonable hypothesis Statement of Principles for the condition under consideration at some time.

12837 the veteran was exposed to arsenic as specified in the reasonable hypothesis Statement of Principles for the condition under consideration at least five years before the clinical onset of the condition under consideration.

12841 operational service made a material contribution to the veteran's exposure to arsenic as specified in the reasonable hypothesis Statement of Principles for the condition under consideration at least five years before the clinical onset of the condition under consideration.

12843 the veteran's exposure to arsenic as specified in the reasonable hypothesis Statement of Principles for the condition under consideration, to which operational service made a material contribution at least five years before the clinical onset, was due to the veteran's serious default, wilful act or serious breach of discipline.

Clinical onset and eligible service [12836]

31445 the veteran was exposed to arsenic as specified in the balance of probabilities Statement of Principles for the condition under consideration at some time.

12839 the veteran was exposed to arsenic as specified in the balance of probabilities Statement of Principles for the condition under consideration at least ten years before the clinical onset of the condition under consideration.

12842 eligible service made a material contribution to the veteran's exposure to arsenic as specified in the balance of probabilities Statement of Principles for the condition under consideration at least ten years before the clinical onset of the condition under consideration.

12844 the veteran's exposure to arsenic as specified in the balance of probabilities Statement of Principles for the condition under consideration, to which eligible service made a material contribution at least ten years before the clinical onset, was due to the veteran's serious default, wilful act or serious breach of discipline.