Arsenic trichloride

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A yellow, oily liquid that produces poisonous fumes. Arsenic trichloride was, at one time, used as an insecticide on some ethnographic objects. (Goldberg, 1996).

Synonyms and Related Terms

butter of arsenic; fuming liquid arsenic; arsenic chloride; arsenious chloride; arsenous chloride; caustic arsenic chloride

Chemical structure

Arsenic trichloride.jpg

Other Properties

Soluble in hydrochloric acid and most organic solvents. Decomposed by water.

Composition AsCl3
CAS 7784-34-1
Melting Point -18
Density 2.163
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 181.2
Boiling Point 130.5

Hazards and Safety

Highly toxic by ingestion and inhalation. Carcinogen and mutagen. Strongly irritating to skin.

International Chemical Safety Card

Additional Information

° L. Goldberg, A History Of Pest Control Measures In The Anthropology Collections, National Museum Of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, JAIC (35):23-43, 1996

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 841