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Neurosensory effects of chronic human exposure to arsenic associated with body burden and environmental measures.

Authors
  • Otto, D
  • Xia, Y
  • Li, Y
  • Wu, K
  • He, L
  • Telech, J
  • Hundell, H
  • Prah, J
  • Mumford, J
  • Wade, T
Type
Published Article
Journal
Human & experimental toxicology
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2007
Volume
26
Issue
3
Pages
169–177
Identifiers
PMID: 17439919
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Exposure to arsenic in drinking water is known to produce a variety of health problems, including peripheral neuropathy. Auditory, visual and somatosensory impairment have been reported in Mongolian farmers living in the Yellow River Valley, where drinking water is contaminated by arsenic. In the present study, sensory tests, including pinprick and vibration thresholds, were administered to 320 residents with well-water arsenic levels, ranging from non-detectable to 690 microg/L. Vibration thresholds in the second and fifth fingers of both hands were measured using a vibrothesiometer. Drinking water, urine and toenail samples were obtained to assess arsenic exposure and body burden. Regression analyses indicated significant associations of pinprick scores and vibration thresholds with all arsenic measures. Vibration thresholds were more strongly associated with urinary than water or nail arsenic measures, but odds ratios for decreased pinprick sensitivity were highest for the water arsenic measure. Results of the current study indicate neurosensory effects of arsenic exposure at concentrations well below the 1000 microg/L drinking water level specified by NRC, and suggest that non-carcinogenic end-points, such as vibration thresholds, are useful in the risk assessment of exposure to arsenic in drinking water.

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