Comparison of the urinary excretion of arsenic metabolites after a single oral dose of sodium arsenite, monomethylarsonate, or dimethylarsinate in man

Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 1981;48(1):71-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00405933.


The urinary elimination of the metabolites of arsenic has been followed up as a function of time in volunteers who ingested a single oral dose of arsenic (500 microgram As) either as sodium arsenite (Asi), monomethylarsonate (MMA), or cacodylate (DMA). The excretion rate increased in the order Asi less than DMA less than MMA. After 4 days, the amount of arsenic excreted in urine represents 46, 78, and 75% of the ingested dose in the case of Asi, MMA and DMA, respectively. With regard to the in vivo biotransformations, it is concluded that DMA is excreted unchanged; MMA is slightly (13%) methylated into DMA while roughly 75% of the arsenic excreted after ingestion of Asi is methylated arsenic (about 1/3 as MMA and about 2/3 as DMA).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arsenic / metabolism*
  • Arsenic / urine*
  • Arsenicals / metabolism*
  • Arsenites*
  • Cacodylic Acid / metabolism*
  • Dealkylation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylation
  • Sodium Compounds*
  • Time Factors


  • Arsenicals
  • Arsenites
  • Sodium Compounds
  • sodium arsenite
  • Cacodylic Acid
  • monomethylarsonic acid
  • Arsenic