Where might you find them?

  • Art – pigments such as orpiment (yellow), realgar (red), copper-arsenic compounds (vivid green).
  • Costume – dyed / painted textiles, organic adornments e.g. feather or fur.
  • Geology – minerals, e.g. native arsenic, orpiment, realgar, arsenopyrite.
  • Natural history – taxidermy prepared with arsenical soaps and subjected to insecticide treatments.
  • Pharmacy – a stimulant and general remedy until the mid-20th century.
  • Sculpture – although arsenical bronzes are not hazardous.
  • Social history – pesticides (e.g. insecticide, rodenticide), dyed / painted papers (e.g. wallpaper, wrapping paper), artificial flowers, upholstery, table cloth, curtains, etc. in shades of vivid green (e.g. Scheele’s, Schweinfurt and Paris green) throughout the 19th century.
  • World cultures – arsenic-based insecticides on organic materials.