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(Date of issue: September 2017, Version: 1.2)

This is a UKTIS monograph for use by health care professionals. For case-specific advice please contact UKTIS on 0344 892 0909. To report an exposure please download and complete a pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.


Arsine is a poisonous, non-irritating, colourless gas with a slight smell of garlic at concentrations above the toxic dose.  It is mainly encountered in industrial occupational settings, particularly within the metallurgical, chemical, microelectronics and recycling industries.  Acute and chronic exposure may result in haemolytic anaemia and renal failure.

There are limited data available on which to base an assessment of the risk that arsine exposure in pregnancy poses to the developing fetus.  Two studies investigated risk of spontaneous abortion in women involved in semiconductor industrial processes, with conflicting findings.  Both studies were heavily confounded and an association between arsine exposure and increased risk of spontaneous abortion remains unconfirmed.

In the event of acute arsine exposure in a pregnant patient, maternal toxicity is likely to be a major determinant of risk to the fetus.  There are no published guidelines specific to the treatment of arsine poisoning during pregnancy.  Where treatment is required, management should be the same as for a non-pregnant patient.

Animal studies have demonstrated the presence of arsenic compounds in fetal tissues following maternal exposure.  Enhanced fetal monitoring following exposure may therefore be warranted, even in the absence of associated maternal toxicity.  Exposure to arsine would not generally be regarded as medical grounds for termination of pregnancy.  Discussion with UKTIS is recommended for all cases.

This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use full UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from TOXBASE.org to be sure you are using the most up-to-date version. The summaries of these monographs are openly available on UKTIS.org.

This is a summary of the full UKTIS monograph for health care professionals and should not be used in isolation. The full UKTIS monograph and access to any hyperlinked related documents is available to health care professionals at www.toxbase.org.

If you have a patient with exposure to a drug or chemical and require assistance in making a patient-specific risk assessment, please telephone UKTIS on 0344 892 0909 to discuss the case with a teratology specialist.

If you would like to report a pregnancy to UKTIS please click here to download our pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this monograph was accurate and up-to-date at the time of writing, however it cannot cover every eventuality and the information providers cannot be held responsible for any adverse outcomes of the measures recommended. The final decision regarding which treatment is used for an individual patient remains the clinical responsibility of the prescriber. This material may be freely reproduced for education and not for profit purposes within the UK National Health Service, however no linking to this website or reproduction by or for commercial organisations is permitted without the express written permission of this service. This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from TOXBASE.org or UKTIS.org to ensure you are using the most up-to-date version.