Copyright © 1996, 1997, 2001 by Galen Daryl
Knight and VitaleTherapeutics, Inc.
Phenarsazine as a Toxic Flavin Analogues?
In addition to containing the carcinogenic element arsenic, phenarsazine-based
compounds, like analogues of riboflavin,
may be toxic through an interference of their tricyclic ring system with
flavin metabolism (lumiflavin shown below left for comparison). Phenarsazine
(below right) has been used as a war gas, for riots in combination with
the tear gas (chloroacetophenone), and in wood-treating solutions ("pressure-treated
lumber"?). It produces reactions even more immediate and noxious than phenothiazine,
including runny nose, pain throughout the respiratory system, sneezing,
coughing, nausea, vomiting, depression, and weakness. (Sounds like the
flu or a bad cold, doesn't it?) Since the volatility for phenarsazine (20
micrograms/cubic meter) approximates or exceeds the NIOSH exposure
limits for carcinogenic arsenic compounds (2 to 10 micrograms/cubic meter),
it may be wise to wear dust masks when cutting pressure-treated lumber
and to use this material only in exterior (unenclosed or vented) applications
unless it can be established that this volatile arsenic compound was not
used in the treatment process for the wood. PRESSURE-TREATED LUMBER
SHOULD NOT BE BURNED IN ONE'S FIREPLACE!!!!!!