Arsenic- A Very Bad Toxin

Arsenic is a known VERY BAD toxin.  I recently posted the link to the consumer reports article on arsenic in rice.  It’s worth taking another look at that in light of this article that makes the point: allowable levels of arsenic in water are not to exceed 10 micrograms/L.  Rarely do we drink more than a liter of water a day, so 10 micrograms of arsenic is the upper limit of a safe ingestion of arsenic for an adult.  There really is no safe amount for an infant or unborn child.  Look again at the rice products contents:

A 1/4 cup of infant rice cereal had about 1-2 micrograms of arsenic, rice syrup and other rice products had up to 6 or 8 micrograms per serving. 

Those of you on well water, please filter it and have your filtered water tested to be sure you are not drinking large amounts of arsenic or other toxins.

Here is a recent article showing that this has become a worldwide public health problem.

The Broad Scope of Health Effects from Chronic Arsenic Exposure: Update on a Worldwide Public Health Problem

January 3, 2013 Advance Publications

Marisa F. Naujokas1, Beth Anderson2, Habibul Ahsan3, H. Vasken Aposhian4, Joseph H. Graziano5, Claudia Thompson6, and William A. Suk2

1MDB, Inc., Durham, North Carolina USA; 2Superfund Research Program, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Durham, North Carolina USA; 3Depts. of Health Studies, Human Genetics, and Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois USA; 4Dept. of Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of Arizona Superfund Research Program, Tucson, Arizona USA; 5Dept. of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, New York USA; 6Susceptibility and Population Health Branch, Superfund Research Program, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Durham, North Carolina USA


Background: Concerns for arsenic exposure are not limited to toxic waste sites and massive poisoning events. Chronic exposure continues to be a major public health problem worldwide, affecting hundreds of millions of people.

Objectives: To heighten awareness of the current scope of arsenic exposure and health outcomes, and the importance of reducing exposure particularly during pregnancy and early life.

Methods: We synthesized the large body of current research pertaining to arsenic exposure and health outcomes with an emphasis on recent publications.

Discussion: Locations of high arsenic exposure via drinking water span from Bangladesh, Chile, and Taiwan to the United States. The U.S. EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) in drinking water is 10 μg/L; concentrations in wells in the U.S have reached over 3,000 μg/L. In addition, concerns for exposure through diet are of growing concern. Knowledge of the scope of arsenic-associated health effects has broadened, and arsenic leaves essentially no bodily system untouched. Arsenic is a known carcinogen associated with skin, lung, bladder, kidney, and liver cancer. Dermatological, developmental, neurological, respiratory, cardiovascular, immunological, and endocrine effects are also evident. Most remarkably, early life exposure may be related to increased risks for several types of cancer and other diseases during adulthood.

Conclusions: These data call for heightened awareness of arsenic-related pathologies in broader contexts than previously perceived. Testing foods and drinking water for arsenic, including individual private wells, should be a top priority to reduce exposure, particularly for pregnant women and children given the potential for life-long effects of developmental exposure.

Citation: Naujokas MF, Anderson B, Ahsan H, Aposhian HV, Graziano JH, Thompson C, Suk WA. Environ Health Perspect (): .doi:10.1289/ehp.1205875

Received: August 08, 2012; Accepted: December 21, 2012; Published: January 03, 2013


Dr. Paul

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