Arsenic is spread everywhere in the environment. Anthropogenous pollution is caused by metallurgy, burning of brown coal with low calorific value, use of herbicides and pesticides, containing arsenic compounds. The most significant atmospheric air pollution is witnessed in regions with metallurgical industry.

Impact on human health

When inhaling polluted air about 40% of the arsenic is deposited in the lungs from where approximately 30% is absorbed. Via blood it reaches the kidneys, liver, brain, bones and skin. Air pollution with arsenic may lead to complaints, concerning the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, nervous and blood systems, to increasing the frequency of spontaneous abortions, infant underweight, etc. The carcinogenic potential is the major factor for determining the risk for the population. epidemiological studies data provide evidence of development of lung cancer in workers and population exposed to arsenic aerosols.
The International Agency for Research of Cancer (IARC) classifies arsenic as a first category carcinogenic substance. The norms recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) establish a cancer risk unit equal to concentration of the order of 1.5 x 10-3 mg/m3.


Our legislation defines the following limit value (LV) for arsenic concentration in the atmospheric air, in line with Regulation No. 14 (State Gazette No. 88/1997, amended SG No. 46/1999, amended and supplemented, SG No. 8/2002):

- 24-hour average LV (for 24-hour exposure) - 0.003 mg/m3.