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Chronic Arsenic Poisoning Probably Caused by Arsenic-Based Pesticides: Findings from an Investigation Study of a Household

1
Research Center of Environment and Non-Communicable Disease, School of Public Health, China Medical University, No. 77 Puhe Road, Shenyang North New Area, Shenyang, Liaoning 110122, China
2
Yunnan Institute of Endemic Disease Control and Prevention, No. 5 Wen Hua Road, Dali, Yunan 671000, China
3
Department of Dermatology, No. 1 Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning 110001, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(1), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13010133
Received: 2 September 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 11 January 2016 / Published: 16 January 2016
In addition to naturally occurring arsenic, man-made arsenic-based compounds are other sources of arsenic exposure. In 2013, our group identified 12 suspected arsenicosis patients in a household (32 living members). Of them, eight members were diagnosed with skin cancer. Interestingly, all of these patients had lived in the household prior to 1989. An investigation revealed that approximately 2 tons of arsenic-based pesticides had been previously placed near a well that had supplied drinking water to the family from 1973 to 1989. The current arsenic level in the well water was 620 μg/L. No other high arsenic wells were found near the family’s residence. Based on these findings, it is possible to infer that the skin lesions exhibited by these family members were caused by long-term exposure to well water contaminated with arsenic-based pesticides. Additionally, biochemical analysis showed that the individuals exposed to arsenic had higher levels of aspartate aminotransferase and γ-glutamyl transpeptidase than those who were not exposed. These findings might indicate the presence of liver dysfunction in the arsenic-exposed individuals. This report elucidates the effects of arsenical compounds on the occurrence of high levels of arsenic in the environment and emphasizes the severe human health impact of arsenic exposure. View Full-Text
Keywords: arsenic; arsenic-based pesticides; skin lesions; chronic arsenic poisoning arsenic; arsenic-based pesticides; skin lesions; chronic arsenic poisoning
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Li, Y.; Ye, F.; Wang, A.; Wang, D.; Yang, B.; Zheng, Q.; Sun, G.; Gao, X. Chronic Arsenic Poisoning Probably Caused by Arsenic-Based Pesticides: Findings from an Investigation Study of a Household. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 133.

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