Sodium arsenite

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Sodium arsenite
IUPAC name
sodium arsenite
Other names
sodium arsenate(III)
7784-46-5 YesY
EC number 232-070-5
Jmol-3D images Image
KEGG C11906 N
PubChem 443495
Molar mass 129.911 g/mol
Appearance white or grayish powder
Density 1.87 g/cm 3
Melting point 550 °C (1,022 °F; 823 K) decomposes
156 g/100 mL
Solubility slightly soluble in alcohol
MSDS External MSDS
R-phrases R23,R25,R45
NFPA 704
Flammability code 0: Will not burn. E.g., water Health code 4: Very short exposure could cause death or major residual injury. E.g., VX gas Reactivity code 0: Normally stable, even under fire exposure conditions, and is not reactive with water. E.g., liquid nitrogen Special hazards (white): no codeNFPA 704 four-colored diamond
41 mg/kg (rat, oral)
Except where noted otherwise, data is given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 N verify (what isYesY/N?)
Infobox references

Sodium arsenite usually refers to the inorganic compound with the formula NaAsO2. Also called sodium meta-arsenite, it is the sodium salt of arsenous acid. Sodium arsenite also ) Na3AsO3, called sodium ortho-arsenite.[1] The compounds are colourless solids.

Catena-arsenite chains

Synthesis and structure[edit]

A mixture of sodium meta-arsenite and sodium ortho-arsenite is produced by treating arsenic trioxide with sodium carbonate or sodium hydroxide.[2] Sodium arsenite is amorphous, typically being obtained as a powder or as a glassy mass. The compound consists of the polymer [AsO2]n
associated with sodium cations, Na+. The polymer backbone has the connectivity -O-As(O)-.[3]

Health Effects[edit]

Sodium arsenite can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Along with its known carcinogenic and teratogenic effects, contact with the substance can yield symptoms such as skin irritation, burns, itching, thickened skin, rash, loss of pigment, poor appetite, a metallic or garlic taste, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, decreased blood pressure, and headache. Severe acute poisoning may lead to nervous system damage resulting in weakness, poor coordination, or “pins and needles” sensations, eventual paralysis, and death.[4][5]


It is primarily used as a pesticide, but has other uses such as hide preservative, antiseptic, dyeing, and soaps.[6]

Sodium arsenite is an appropriate chemical stressor to induce production of heat shock proteins.[7]


The LD50 (oral, mouse) is 40 mg/kg.[2]


  1. ^ Greenwood, N. N.; & Earnshaw, A. (1997). Chemistry of the Elements (2nd Edn.), Oxford:Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 0-7506-3365-4.
  2. ^ a b Grund, S. C.; Hanusch, K.; Wolf, H. U. (2005), "Arsenic and Arsenic Compounds", Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, doi:10.1002/14356007.a03_113.pub2 
  3. ^ Eagleton M. (2011). Concise Encyclopedia Chemistry. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3110114518. 
  4. ^ New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet: Sodium Arsenite [1] (2013-05-01)
  5. ^ Jing J, Zheng G, Liu M, Shen X, Zhao F, Wang J, Zhang J, Huang G, Dai P, Chen Y, Chen J, Luo W, ‘’et al.’’ (2012). "Changes in the synaptic structure of hippocampal neurons and impairment of spatial memory in a rat model caused by chronic arsenite exposure". Neurotoxicology 33 (5): 1230–8. doi:10.1016/j.neuro.2012.07.003. PMID 22824511. 
  6. ^ Considine G.D. (2005). Van Nostrand’s Encylcopedia of Chemistry. 14th Ed. ISBN 0471615250. 
  7. ^ Bhagat L, Singh VP, Dawra RK, Saluja AK, ‘’et al.’’ (2008). "Sodium arsenite induces heat shock protein 70 expression and protects against secretagogue-induced trypsinogen and NF-kappaB activation". J Cell Physiol 215 (1): 37–46. doi:10.1002/jcp.21286. PMID 17941083.