References: Living Near Arsenic

Exposure To Arsenic

Arsenic is a naturally occurring substance in the environment and exposure to this element can be found in many different places, such as volcanos and groundwater. Human exposure to elevated levels can be found through the consumption of food, water, and air. Arsenic is especially prevalent from man-made sources such as industrial factories and pesticide use, and majority of this kind of exposure is distributed to homes and household products near those factories. Below are selected health studies on this topic.

There have been a number of studies published on the various health effects of arsenic exposure. Acute to long-term health effects can result from sore throat and skin rashes to cancer and death.

DALI Arsenic Dartmouth – http://dali.dartmouth.edu/projects-blog/2015/11/arsenic

How is health affected?

Pregnant women

Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to water and food exposure to arsenic, especially if their live near factories that smelt. Studies show that trace amounts of arsenic being penetrable through the placenta, and thus can cause potential health risks, especially for fetal growth and cognitive development for babies. Below are selected health studies on this topic.

Effects of arsenic on maternal and fetal health. Annual Review of Nutrition, 29, 381–99. http://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-nutr-080508-141102.

Ettinger, A. S., Zota, A. R., Amarasiriwardene, C. J., Hopkins, M. R., Schwartz, J., Hu, H., & Wright, R. O. (2009). Maternal arsenic exposure and impaired glucose tolerance during pregnancy. Environmental Health Perspectives, 117(7), 1059–1064. http://doi.org/10.1289/ehp0800533

Navas-Acien, A., Silbergeld, E. K., Pastor-Barriuso, R., & Guallar, E. (2008). Arsenic exposure and prevalence of type 2 diabetes in US adults. JAMA : The Journal of the American Medical Association, 300(7), 814–822. http://doi.org/10.1001/jama.300.7.814

Punshon, T., Davis, M. a, Marsit, C. J., Theiler, S. K., Baker, E. R., Jackson, B. P., … Karagas, M. R. (2015). Placental arsenic concentrations in relation to both maternal and infant biomarkers of exposure in a US cohort. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, (February), 1–5. http://doi.org/10.1038/jes.2015.16

Babies

babyMany harmful health problems can occur from arsenic exposure during the first stages of a newborn baby. There have been studies that show rice-based baby food products, such as rice cereal and juices, have high concentrations of arsenic. Ingestion exposure from these typical first foods for babies may lead to major health effects such as issues with growth and neurodevelopment. Below are selected health studies on this topic.

Fei, D. L., Koestler, D. C., Li, Z., Giambelli, C., Sanchez-Mejias, A., Gosse, J. A., … Robbins, D. J. (2013). Association between In Utero arsenic exposure, placental gene expression, and infant birth weight: a US birth cohort study. Environmental Health : A Global Access Science Source, 12, 58. http://doi.org/10.1186/1476-069X-12-58

Jackson, B. P., Taylor, V. F., Punshon, T., & Cottingham, K. L. (2012). Arsenic concentration and speciation in infant formulas and first foods. Pure and Applied Chemistry, 84(2), 215–223. http://doi.org/10.1351/pac-con-11-09-17

Karagas, M. R., Punshon, T., Sayarath, V., Jackson, B. P., Folt, C. L., & Cottingham, K. L. (2016). Association of Rice and Rice-Product Consumption With Arsenic Exposure Early in Life. JAMA Pediatrics, 03766(6), 609–616. http://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0120

Tolins, M., Ruchirawat, M., & Landrigan, P. (2014). The developmental neurotoxicity of arsenic: Cognitive and behavioral consequences of early life exposure. Annals of Global Health. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.aogh.2014.09.005

Children

child For children who live and go to school near factories that utilize arsenic in their manufacturing, exposure can lead to many health problems. In addition to respiratory problems, research has found that arsenic in drinking water is negatively associated with child intelligence, such as a low IQ score. Below are selected health studies on this topic.

Wasserman, G. A., Liu, X., Loiacono, N. J., Kline, J., Factor-Litvak, P., van Geen, A., … Graziano, J. H. (2014). A cross-sectional study of well water arsenic and child IQ in Maine schoolchildren. Environ Health, 13(1), 23. http://doi.org/10.1186/1476-069x-13-23

Majumdar, K. K., & Guha Mazumder, D. N. (2012). Effect of drinking arsenic-contaminated water in children. Indian Journal of Public Health, 56(3), 223–226. http://doi.org/10.4103/0019-557X.104250

Adults

adultSeveral studies have shown that long-term exposure of arsenic exposure from water, food, and air can potentially lead to cardiovascular health problems, lung disease, and cancer. Below are selected health studies on this topic.

Smith, A. H., Hopenhayn-Rich, C., Bates, M. N., Goeden, H. M., Hertz-Picciotto, I., Duggan, H. M., … Smith, M. T. (1992). Cancer risks from arsenic in drinking water. In Environmental Health Perspectives (Vol. 97, pp. 259–267). http://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.9297259

States, J. C., Srivastava, S., Chen, Y., & Barchowsky, A. (2009). Arsenic and cardiovascular disease. Toxicological Sciences. http://doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfn236

Guha Mazumder, D. N. (2007). Arsenic and non-malignant lung disease. J Environ Sci Health A Tox Hazard Subst Environ Eng, 42(12), 1859–1867. http://doi.org/10.1080/10934520701566926

Radosavljević, V., & Jakovljević, B. (2008). Arsenic and bladder cancer: observations and suggestions. Journal of Environmental Health, 71(3), 40–2. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18990932

Mayer, J. E., & Goldman, R. H. (2016). Arsenic and skin cancer in the USA: the current evidence regarding arsenic-contaminated drinking water. International Journal of Dermatology. http://doi.org/10.1111/ijd.13318

Mayer, J. E., & Goldman, R. H. (2016). Arsenic and skin cancer in the USA: the current evidence regarding arsenic-contaminated drinking water. International Journal of Dermatology. http://doi.org/10.1111/ijd.13318

Who is most vulnerable?

Learn more about battery recycling plants that emit arsenic into the air and how it can be hazardous to your environment and home.

Barboza, T. (2015). Battery recycler Quemetco told to reduce cancer risk from arsenic emissions. Retrieved November 11, 2016, from http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-battery-recycler-risk-20160517-snap-story.html

Nelson, K.W. (1977). Industrial contributions of arsenic to the environment. Environmental Health Perspectives. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1637430/

How to reduce Risk and Exposure

Food

Arsenic has been a key health determinant when it comes to food production and ingestion. Several studies show that high concentrations have been found in drinking water, rice, and grains. Research has also examined arsenic in other food products, such as chicken feed, poultry, apple juice, and vegetables. The primarily source of arsenic being found in food is due to high levels of it found in groundwater and soil which helps grow and produce food. Below are selected health studies on this topic.

Wilson, D., Hooper, C., & Shi, X. Y. (2012). Arsenic and Lead in Juice: Apple, Citrus, and Apple-Base. Journal of Environmental Health, 75(5), 14–20. Retrieved from <Go to ISI>://000311329200003

Hojsak, I., Braegger, C., Bronsky, J., Campoy, C., Colomb, V., Decsi, T., … ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition. (2015). Arsenic in rice: a cause for concern. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 60(1), 142–5. http://doi.org/10.1097/MPG.0000000000000502

Jackson, B. P., Taylor, V. F., Punshon, T., & Cottingham, K. L. (2012). Arsenic concentration and speciation in infant formulas and first foods. Pure and Applied Chemistry, 84(2), 215–223. http://doi.org/10.1351/pac-con-11-09-17.

Smith, A. H., & Steinmaus, C. M. (2009). Health effects of arsenic and chromium in drinking water: recent human findings. Annual Review of Public Health, 30, 107–122. http://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.publhealth.031308.100143

Environmental Exposures

California Standard Levels

Soil: (2016). Soil- and Soil-Gas Screening Numbers (California Human Health Screening Levels or CHHSLs). Retrieved from http://oehha.ca.gov/chhsltable

Water: Agency, C. E. P. (2016). Arsenic in Drinking Water: MCL Status. Retrieved from http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/drinking_water/certlic/drinkingwater/Arsenic.shtml