Special Issue "Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2017).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Ravi Naidu
Website
Guest Editor
Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation, University of South Australia, SA5095, Australia
Interests: Soil Chemistry, Bioavailability, Analytical Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Remediation, Environmental Science, soil and ground water remediation, Soil Science, Nanomaterials Synthesis, Microbiology, Heavy Metals, Heavy Metal Speciation, Environmental Pollution, Water Quality, Bioremediation, Groundwater, Environmental Impact Assessment
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Mohammad Mahmudur Rahman
Website
Guest Editor
Global Centre for Environmental Remediation (GCER), University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia
Interests: Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, Chemical speciation of metal and metalloids, Phytoremediation, Health impacts due to arsenic toxicity, Toxicology and bioavailability, Bioavailability of metals, Arsenic
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Ayanka Wijayawardena
Website
Guest Editor
Global Centre for Environmental Remediation (GCER), The University of Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia
Interests: arsenic; lead; mixed metal toxicity; mixed metal interactions; bioavailability; bioaccessibility; environmental science; health impacts due to arsenic toxicity; health impacts due to lead toxicity; ecotoxicology; metal sorption; metal bioaccumulation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Arsenic contamination in groundwater is recognized as a major public health concern in the 105 countries where geogenic arsenic has been detected in groundwater. Consumption of inorganic As, from drinking water and food crops, for prolonged periods poses potentially dangerous health threats to humans in various countries. The risks and implications of exposure to elevated levels of other co-contaminants, in combination with arsenic, to human health from mixed contaminants in water and food is yet to be established. Thus, it is crucial to assess the pathways of human exposure to arsenic, along with other co-contaminants, and develop potential strategies that minimize exposure to humans through water and food.

After successfully publishing a Special Issue on “Arsenic in Drinking Water: Current Perspectives and Future Directions” in 2016 (www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph/special_issues/Arsenic-Drinking-Water), the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is devoting another Special Issue to the topic of “Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health”. The Special Issue will focus on a wide range of topics of arsenic research. Examples include:

  1. Arsenic contamination and exposure pathways,

  2. Dose response relationship of arsenic and human health effects,

  3. Bioavailability and bio-accessibility of arsenic,

  4. Food chain issues relating to arsenic

  5. Human health and exposure to arsenic

  6. Arsenic and public health

  7. The toxicity of arsenic species in aquatic/marine environments,

  8. Arsenic and other co-contaminants,

  9. Mitigation of arsenic contamination in the environment.

You are invited to submit manuscripts for consideration in this Special Issue, which covers the above-mentioned topics (but the editors also welcome papers on other related topics concerning arsenic).

Prof. Dr. Ravi Naidu
Dr. Mohammad Mahmudur Rahman
Dr. Ayanka Wijayawardena
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Arsenic contamination

  • Arsenic and other co-contaminants and exposure pathway

  • Speciation and bioavailability

  • Epidemiology: Health effects and treatment

  • Arsenic in food web

  • Human health

  • Public health

  • Food chain

  • Mitigation of arsenic

  • Phytotoxicity and phyto-remediation

Published Papers (16 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Lung Cancer Risk and Low (≤50 μg/L) Drinking Water Arsenic Levels for US Counties (2009–2013)—A Negative Association
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1200; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061200 - 07 Jun 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
While epidemiologic studies clearly demonstrate drinking water with high levels of arsenic as a significant risk factor for lung cancer, the evidence at low levels (≤50 μg/L) is uncertain. Therefore, we have conducted an ecological analysis of recent lung cancer incidence for US [...] Read more.
While epidemiologic studies clearly demonstrate drinking water with high levels of arsenic as a significant risk factor for lung cancer, the evidence at low levels (≤50 μg/L) is uncertain. Therefore, we have conducted an ecological analysis of recent lung cancer incidence for US counties with a groundwater supply of <50 μg/L, the historical limit for both the EPA and WHO. Data sources used included USGS for arsenic exposure, NCI for lung cancer outcome, and CDC and US Census Bureau forcovariates. Poisson log-linear models were conducted for male, female, and total populations using for exposure median county arsenic level, maximum arsenic level ≤50 μg/L, and ≥80% population groundwater dependency. Statistically significant negative associations were found in each of the six models in which the exposure was limited to those who had major exposure (≥80% dependency) to low-levels of arsenic (≤50 μg/L). This is the first large ecological study of lung cancer risk from drinking water arsenic levels that specifically examined the dose-response slope for populations whose exposure was below the historical limit of ≤50 μg/L. The models for each of the three populations (total; male; female) demonstrated an association that is both negative and statistically significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Risk and Benefit of Different Cooking Methods on Essential Elements and Arsenic in Rice
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1056; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061056 - 23 May 2018
Cited by 16
Abstract
Use of excess water in cooking of rice is a well-studied short-term arsenic removal technique. However, the outcome on the nutritional content of rice is not well addressed. We determined the benefit of different cooking techniques on arsenic removal and the associated risk [...] Read more.
Use of excess water in cooking of rice is a well-studied short-term arsenic removal technique. However, the outcome on the nutritional content of rice is not well addressed. We determined the benefit of different cooking techniques on arsenic removal and the associated risk of losing the essential elements in rice. Overall, we found 4.5%, 30%, and 44% decrease in the arsenic content of rice when cooked with rice-to-water ratios of 1:3, 1:6 (p = 0.004), and 1:10 (parboiling; p < 0.0001), respectively. All the essential elements (except iron, selenium, and copper) incurred a significant loss when rice was cooked using the 1:6 technique: potassium (50%), nickel (44.6%), molybdenum (38.5%), magnesium (22.4%), cobalt (21.2%), manganese (16.5%), calcium (14.5%), selenium (12%), iron (8.2%), zinc (7.7%), and copper (0.2%) and further reduction was observed on parboiling, except for iron. For the same cooking method (1:6), percentage contribution to the recommended daily intake (RDI) of essential elements was highest for molybdenum (154.7%), followed by manganese (34.5%), copper (33.4%), selenium (13.1%), nickel (12.4%), zinc (10%), magnesium (8%), iron (6.3%), potassium (1.8%), and calcium (0.5%). Hence, cooked rice as a staple is a poor source for essential elements and thus micronutrients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Arsenic and Other Elemental Concentrations in Mushrooms from Bangladesh: Health Risks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 919; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050919 - 04 May 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
Mushroom cultivation has been increasing rapidly in Bangladesh. Arsenic (As) toxicity is widespread in the world and Bangladesh faces the greatest havoc due to this calamity. Rice is the staple food in Bangladesh and among all the crops grown, it is considered to [...] Read more.
Mushroom cultivation has been increasing rapidly in Bangladesh. Arsenic (As) toxicity is widespread in the world and Bangladesh faces the greatest havoc due to this calamity. Rice is the staple food in Bangladesh and among all the crops grown, it is considered to be the main cause of As poisoning to its population after drinking water. Consequently, rice straw, an important growing medium of mushrooms in Bangladesh, is known to have high As content. The objective of this study was, therefore, to determine the concentrations of As in mushrooms cultivated in Bangladesh and to assess the health risk as well. It also considered other elements, including Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Pb, Mn, Hg, Ni, and Zn concentrations in mushrooms from Bangladesh. The mean concentrations (mg/kg) of As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Pb, Mn, Hg, Ni, and Zn in mushrooms were 0.51, 0.38, 0.28, 0.01, 13.7, 0.31, 11.7, 0.12, 0.28, and 53.5, respectively. Based on the dietary intake of mushrooms, the weekly intakes of As, Cd, Cr, Co, Cu, Pb, Mn, Hg, Ni, and Zn from mushrooms for adults were 0.0042, 0.0030, 0.0024, 0.0001, 0.1125, 0.0019, 0.1116, 0.0011, 0.0023, and 0.4734 mg, respectively. Due to the low concentrations of As and other trace elements observed in mushrooms from Bangladesh, as well as relatively lower consumption of this food in people’s diet, it can be inferred that consumption of the species of mushrooms analysed will cause no toxicological risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
A Pooled Data Analysis to Determine the Relationship between Selected Metals and Arsenic Bioavailability in Soil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050888 - 30 Apr 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Chronic exposure to arsenic (As) is a global concern due to worldwide exposure and adverse effects, and the importance of incorporating bioavailability in the exposure assessment and risk assessment of As is increasing acknowledged. The bioavailability of As is impacted by a number [...] Read more.
Chronic exposure to arsenic (As) is a global concern due to worldwide exposure and adverse effects, and the importance of incorporating bioavailability in the exposure assessment and risk assessment of As is increasing acknowledged. The bioavailability of As is impacted by a number of soil properties, such as pH, clay and metal concentrations. By retrieving 485 data from 32 publications, the aim of this study was to determine the relationship between selected metals (Fe and Al) and As bioavailability. In present study, the bioaccessibility (BAC) data measured by in vitro approaches were converted into bioavailability data based on the previously determined relationship between BAC and bioavailability. The As relative bioavailability (RBA) was summarized to be 24.36 ± 18.49%, which is in the range previously reported. A significant association between Fe concentration and the bioavailability of As was observed while this association varied for different types of RBA data. This disparity may suggest a non-reliable association between Fe and As bioavailability. The correlations between logarithmically transformed total content of Fe + Al and As bioavailability is then outlined: RBA = (−8.40 ± 1.02) × Ln(Fe + Al) + (58.25 ± 4.09), R2 = 0.25, p < 0.001, n = 212. Jackknife resampling was also applied to validate the relation between total content of (Fe + Al) and As bioavailability, which suggested that the relation is robust. This is the first pooled study to address the relations between selected metal concentrations and As bioavailability, which may provide some implications to establish soil properties-based RBA prediction for As. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Geologic Sources of Arsenic in Well Water in Virginia (USA)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 787; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040787 - 18 Apr 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
We investigated if geologic factors are linked to elevated arsenic (As) concentrations above 5 μg/L in well water in the state of Virginia, USA. Using geologic unit data mapped within GIS and two datasets of measured As concentrations in well water (one from [...] Read more.
We investigated if geologic factors are linked to elevated arsenic (As) concentrations above 5 μg/L in well water in the state of Virginia, USA. Using geologic unit data mapped within GIS and two datasets of measured As concentrations in well water (one from public wells, the other from private wells), we evaluated occurrences of elevated As (above 5 μg/L) based on geologic unit. We also constructed a logistic regression model to examine statistical relationships between elevated As and geologic units. Two geologic units, including Triassic-aged sedimentary rocks and Triassic-Jurassic intrusives of the Culpeper Basin in north-central Virginia, had higher occurrences of elevated As in well water than other geologic units in Virginia. Model results support these patterns, showing a higher probability for As occurrence above 5 μg/L in well water in these two units. Due to the lack of observations (<5%) having elevated As concentrations in our data set, our model cannot be used to predict As concentrations in other parts of the state. However, our results are useful for identifying areas of Virginia, defined by underlying geology, that are more likely to have elevated As concentrations in well water. Due to the ease of obtaining publicly available data and the accessibility of GIS, this study approach can be applied to other areas with existing datasets of As concentrations in well water and accessible data on geology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Arsenic Concentration in the Surface Water of a Former Mining Area: The La Junta Creek, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030437 - 02 Mar 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The mining activity in the San Antonio-El Triunfo district, located in a mountainous region at 60 km southeast of La Paz, occured for more than 250 years and left behind severe contamination of soils and riverbed sediments which led to elevated concentrations of [...] Read more.
The mining activity in the San Antonio-El Triunfo district, located in a mountainous region at 60 km southeast of La Paz, occured for more than 250 years and left behind severe contamination of soils and riverbed sediments which led to elevated concentrations of arsenic and other trace elements in the surface- and groundwater of the region. Although the main mining activity ended around 1911, contamination is still beeing distributed, especially from left behind tailings and mine waste piles. The contamination levels in the groundwater have been reported in several studies, but there is little information available on the surface water quality, and especially the temporal variation. In this study, we analyzed the surface water of the La Junta creek, in the southern part of the San Antonio-El Triunfo mining district. The working hypothesis was that by means of a spatial analysis of surface water and shallow groundwater, in combination with the temporal observation of the concentrations in runoff water, the effects of different sources of arsenic (natural geogene anomalies, due to historic mining activity, and hydrothermal related impact) in the La Junta creek can be recognized. This present study revealed that historic mining activity caused a mojor impact of arsenic but less contamination was observed than in the northern part of the district and elevated arsenic concentrations in stream water generally occurred during times of low streamflow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Urinary Arsenic in Human Samples from Areas Characterized by Natural or Anthropogenic Pollution in Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 299; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020299 - 09 Feb 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
Arsenic is ubiquitous and has a potentially adverse impact on human health. We compared the distribution of concentrations of urinary inorganic arsenic plus methylated forms (uc(iAs+MMA+DMA)) in four Italian areas with other international studies, and we assessed the relationship between uc(iAs+MMA+DMA) and various [...] Read more.
Arsenic is ubiquitous and has a potentially adverse impact on human health. We compared the distribution of concentrations of urinary inorganic arsenic plus methylated forms (uc(iAs+MMA+DMA)) in four Italian areas with other international studies, and we assessed the relationship between uc(iAs+MMA+DMA) and various exposure factors. We conducted a human biomonitoring study on 271 subjects (132 men) aged 20–44, randomly sampled and stratified by area, gender, and age. Data on environmental and occupational exposure and dietary habits were collected through a questionnaire. Arsenic was speciated using chromatographic separation and inductively coupled mass spectrometry. Associations between uc(iAs+MMA+DMA) and exposure factors were evaluated using the geometric mean ratio (GMR) with a 90% confidence interval by stepwise multiple regression analysis. The 95th percentile value of uc(iAs+MMA+DMA) for the whole sample (86.28 µg/L) was higher than other national studies worldwide. A statistical significant correlation was found between uc(iAs+MMA+DMA) and occupational exposure (GMR: 2.68 [1.79–4.00]), GSTT gene (GMR: 0.68 [0.52–0.80]), consumption of tap water (GMR: 1.35 [1.02–1.77]), seafood (GMR: 1.44 [1.11–1.88]), whole milk (GMR: 1.34 [1.04–1.73]), and fruit/vegetables (GMR: 1.37 [1.03–1.82]). This study demonstrated the utility of uc(iAs+MMA+DMA) as a biomarker to assess environmental exposure. In a public health context, this information could be used to support remedial action, to prevent individuals from being further exposed to environmental arsenic sources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Vertical Geochemical Variations and Speciation Studies of As, Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu in the Sediments of the Central Gangetic Basin: Sequential Extraction and Statistical Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020183 - 23 Jan 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
A geochemical and speciation study of As, Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu was performed using sequential extraction and statistical approaches in the core sediments taken at two locations—Rigni Chhapra and Chaube Chhapra—of the central Gangetic basin (India). A gradual increase in the grain [...] Read more.
A geochemical and speciation study of As, Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu was performed using sequential extraction and statistical approaches in the core sediments taken at two locations—Rigni Chhapra and Chaube Chhapra—of the central Gangetic basin (India). A gradual increase in the grain size (varying from clay to coarse sands) was observed in both the core profiles up to 30.5 m depth. The concentrations of analyzed elements ranged as follows: 6.9–14.2 mg/kg for As, 13,849–31,088 mg/kg for Fe, 267–711 mg/kg for Mn, 45–164 mg/kg for Cu for Rigni Chhapra while for Chaube Chhapra the range was 7.5–13.2 mg/kg for As, 10,936–37,052 mg/kg for Fe, 267–1052 mg/kg for Mn, 60–198 mg/kg for Zn and 60–108 mg/kg for Cu. Significant amounts (53–95%) of all the fractionated elemental concentrations were bound within the crystal structure of the minerals as a residual fraction. The reducible fraction was the second most dominant fraction for As (7% and 8%), Fe (3%), Mn (20% and 26%), and Cu (7% and 6%) respectively for both the cores. It may be released when aquifers subjected to changing redox conditions. The acid soluble fraction was of most interest because it could quickly mobilize into the water system which formed the third most dominating among all three fractions. Four color code of sediments showed an association with total As concentration and did not show a relation with any fraction of all elements analyzed. The core sediment was observed enriched with As and other elements (Cu, Fe, Mn, and Zn). However, it fell under uncontaminated to moderately contaminate which might exhibit a low risk in prevailing natural conditions. X-ray diffraction analyses indicated the availability of siderite and magnetite minerals in the core sediments in a section of dark grey with micaceous medium sand with organic matter (black). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Arsenic Methylation Capacity and Metabolic Syndrome in the 2013–2014 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010168 - 22 Jan 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Arsenic methylation capacity is associated with metabolic syndrome and its components among highly exposed populations. However, this association has not been investigated in low to moderately exposed populations. Therefore, we investigated arsenic methylation capacity in relation to the clinical diagnosis of metabolic syndrome [...] Read more.
Arsenic methylation capacity is associated with metabolic syndrome and its components among highly exposed populations. However, this association has not been investigated in low to moderately exposed populations. Therefore, we investigated arsenic methylation capacity in relation to the clinical diagnosis of metabolic syndrome in a low arsenic exposure population. Additionally, we compared arsenic methylation patterns present in our sample to those of more highly exposed populations. Using logistic regression models adjusted for relevant biological and lifestyle covariates, we report no association between increased arsenic methylation and metabolic syndrome in a population in which arsenic is regulated at 10 ppb in drinking water. However, we cannot rule out the possibility of a positive association between arsenic methylation and metabolic syndrome in a subsample of women with normal body mass index (BMI). To our knowledge this is the first investigation of arsenic methylation capacity with respect to metabolic syndrome in a low exposure population. We also report that methylation patterns in our sample are similar to those found in highly exposed populations. Additionally, we report that gender and BMI significantly modify the effect of arsenic methylation on metabolic syndrome. Future studies should evaluate the effectiveness of arsenic policy enforcement on subclinical biomarkers of cardiovascular disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Nutritional Status of Infants Living in Arsenic-Contaminated Areas in Bangladesh and Its Association with Arsenic Exposure
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010057 - 02 Jan 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Data is scarce on early life exposure to arsenic and its association with malnutrition during infancy. This study followed the nutritional status of a cohort of 120 infants from birth to 9 months of age in an arsenic contaminated area in Bangladesh. Anthropometric [...] Read more.
Data is scarce on early life exposure to arsenic and its association with malnutrition during infancy. This study followed the nutritional status of a cohort of 120 infants from birth to 9 months of age in an arsenic contaminated area in Bangladesh. Anthropometric data was collected at 3, 6 and 9 months of the infant’s age for nutritional assessment whereas arsenic exposure level was assessed via tube well drinking water arsenic concentration at the initiation of the study. Weight and height measurements were converted to Z-scores of weight for age (WAZ-underweight), height for age (HAZ-stunting), weight for height (WHZ-wasting) for children by comparing with WHO growth standard. Arsenic exposure levels were categorized as <50 μg/L and ≥50 μg/L. Stunting rates (<−2 SD) were 10% at 3 months and 44% at both 6 and 9 months. Wasting rates (<−2 SD) were 23.3% at 3 months and underweight rates (<−2 SD) were 25% and 10% at 3 and 6 months of age, respectively. There was a significant association of stunting with household drinking water arsenic exposure ≥50 μg/L at age of 9 months (p = 0.009). Except for stunting at 9 months of age, we did not find any significant changes in other nutritional indices over time or with levels of household arsenic exposure in this study. Our study suggests no association between household arsenic exposure and under-nutrition during infancy; with limiting factors being small sample size and short follow-up. Difference in stunting at 9 months by arsenic exposure at ≥50 μg/L might be a statistical incongruity. Further longitudinal studies are warranted to establish any association. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
Histopathology of Cervical Cancer and Arsenic Concentration in Well Water: An Ecological Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1185; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101185 - 06 Oct 2017
Abstract
Arsenic in drinking water is causally linked with cancer of the skin, lung, and urinary bladder, but there is very little data on a possible role for arsenic in the etiology of cervical cancer, a disease in which human papilloma virus is held [...] Read more.
Arsenic in drinking water is causally linked with cancer of the skin, lung, and urinary bladder, but there is very little data on a possible role for arsenic in the etiology of cervical cancer, a disease in which human papilloma virus is held to be a necessary but not sufficient cause. All histopathology results from cervical specimens from the National Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital (NICRH), Dhaka (1997–2015), and the Anowara Medical Services (2003–2015), both serving the whole of Bangladesh, were classified by cell type. Arsenic concentrations in well water in the thana of residence were estimated from systematic sampling carried out by the British Geological Survey. In a case-referent analysis arsenic estimates for cases of cervical cancer were compared with those found to have benign lesions. In this study, 3464 NICRH (CH) cervical specimens and 30,050 community medical service (CMS) specimens were available: 3329 (CH) and 899 (CMS) were recorded as malignant. Most were squamous cell carcinoma, of which 4.9% were poorly differentiated. Overall, there was no increase in cervical cancer with increasing arsenic concentration. Among those with squamous cell histology, a strong dose response was seen for poorly differentiated cancer with increasing arsenic exposure. The odds ratio increased monotonically, compared with exposure <10 μg/L, from 1.58 at 10 < 50 μg/L to 8.11 at >200 μg/L (p < 0.001). Given the high proportion of Bangladeshis using drinking water containing >50 μg/L of arsenic, the evidence that arsenic is implicated in cancer grade suggests a need for further investigation and the introduction of cervical screening in high arsenic areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Arsenic Removal from Groundwater by Solar Driven Inline-Electrolytic Induced Co-Precipitation and Filtration—A Long Term Field Test Conducted in West Bengal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101167 - 02 Oct 2017
Cited by 10
Abstract
Arsenic contamination in drinking water resources is of major concern in the Ganga delta plains of West Bengal in India and Bangladesh. Here, several laboratory and field studies on arsenic removal from drinking water resources were conducted in the past and the application [...] Read more.
Arsenic contamination in drinking water resources is of major concern in the Ganga delta plains of West Bengal in India and Bangladesh. Here, several laboratory and field studies on arsenic removal from drinking water resources were conducted in the past and the application of strong-oxidant-induced co-precipitation of arsenic on iron hydroxides is still considered as the most promising mechanism. This paper suggests an autonomous, solar driven arsenic removal setting and presents the findings of a long term field test conducted in West Bengal. The system applies an inline-electrolytic cell for in situ chlorine production using the natural chloride content of the water and by that substituting the external dosing of strong oxidants. Co-precipitation of As(V) occurs on freshly formed iron hydroxide, which is removed by Manganese Greensand Plus® filtration. The test was conducted for ten months under changing source water conditions considering arsenic (187 ± 45 µg/L), iron (5.5 ± 0.8 mg/L), manganese (1.5 ± 0.4 mg/L), phosphate (2.4 ± 1.3 mg/L) and ammonium (1.4 ± 0.5 mg/L) concentrations. Depending on the system setting removal rates of 94% for arsenic (10 ± 4 µg/L), >99% for iron (0.03 ± 0.03 mg/L), 96% for manganese (0.06 ± 0.05 mg/L), 72% for phosphate (0.7 ± 0.3 mg/L) and 84% for ammonium (0.18 ± 0.12 mg/L) were achieved—without the addition of any chemicals/adsorbents. Loading densities of arsenic on iron hydroxides averaged to 31 µgAs/mgFe. As the test was performed under field conditions and the here proposed removal mechanisms work fully autonomously, it poses a technically feasible treatment alternative, especially for rural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Removal of Arsenic (V) from Aqueous Solutions Using Chitosan–Red Scoria and Chitosan–Pumice Blends
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(8), 895; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14080895 - 09 Aug 2017
Cited by 8
Abstract
In different regions across the globe, elevated arsenic contents in the groundwater constitute a major health problem. In this work, a biopolymer chitosan has been blended with volcanic rocks (red scoria and pumice) for arsenic (V) removal. The effect of three blending ratios [...] Read more.
In different regions across the globe, elevated arsenic contents in the groundwater constitute a major health problem. In this work, a biopolymer chitosan has been blended with volcanic rocks (red scoria and pumice) for arsenic (V) removal. The effect of three blending ratios of chitosan and volcanic rocks (1:2, 1:5 and 1:10) on arsenic removal has been studied. The optimal blending ratio was 1:5 (chitosan: volcanic rocks) with maximum adsorption capacity of 0.72 mg/g and 0.71 mg/g for chitosan: red scoria (Ch–Rs) and chitosan: pumice (Ch–Pu), respectively. The experimental adsorption data fitted well a Langmuir isotherm (R2 > 0.99) and followed pseudo-second-order kinetics. The high stability of the materials and their high arsenic (V) removal efficiency (~93%) in a wide pH range (4 to 10) are useful for real field applications. Moreover, the blends could be regenerated using 0.05 M NaOH and used for several cycles without losing their original arsenic removal efficiency. The results of the study demonstrate that chitosan-volcanic rock blends should be further explored as a potential sustainable solution for removal of arsenic (V) from water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Open AccessCommunication
As(V) Sorption/Desorption on Different Waste Materials and Soil Samples
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(7), 803; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14070803 - 19 Jul 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Aiming to investigate the efficacy of different materials as bio-sorbents for the purification of As-polluted waters, batch-type experiments were employed to study As(V) sorption and desorption on oak ash, pine bark, hemp waste, mussel shell, pyritic material, and soil samples, as a function [...] Read more.
Aiming to investigate the efficacy of different materials as bio-sorbents for the purification of As-polluted waters, batch-type experiments were employed to study As(V) sorption and desorption on oak ash, pine bark, hemp waste, mussel shell, pyritic material, and soil samples, as a function of the As(V) concentration added. Pyritic material and oak ash showed high sorption (90% and >87%) and low desorption (<2% and <7%). Alternatively, hemp waste showed low retention (16% sorption and 100% desorption of the amount previously sorbed), fine shell and pine bark sorbed <3% and desorbed 100%, the vineyard soil sample sorbed 8% and released 85%, and the forest soil sample sorbed 32% and desorbed 38%. Sorption data fitted well to the Langmuir and Freundlich models in the case of both soil samples and the pyritic material, but only to the Freundlich equation in the case of the various by-products. These results indicate that the pyritic material and oak ash can be considered efficient As(V) sorbents (thus, useful in remediation of contaminated sites and removal of that pollutant), even when As(V) concentrations up to 6 mmol L−1 are added, while the other materials that were tested cannot retain or remove As(V) from polluted media. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Groundwater Arsenic Contamination in the Ganga River Basin: A Future Health Danger
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020180 - 23 Jan 2018
Cited by 33
Abstract
This study highlights the severity of arsenic contamination in the Ganga River basin (GRB), which encompasses significant geographic portions of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Tibet. The entire GRB experiences elevated levels of arsenic in the groundwater (up to 4730 µg/L), irrigation water (~1000 [...] Read more.
This study highlights the severity of arsenic contamination in the Ganga River basin (GRB), which encompasses significant geographic portions of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Tibet. The entire GRB experiences elevated levels of arsenic in the groundwater (up to 4730 µg/L), irrigation water (~1000 µg/L), and in food materials (up to 3947 µg/kg), all exceeding the World Health Organization’s standards for drinking water, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization’s standard for irrigation water (100 µg/L), and the Chinese Ministry of Health’s standard for food in South Asia (0.15 mg/kg), respectively. Several individuals demonstrated dermal, neurological, reproductive, cognitive, and cancerous effects; many children have been diagnosed with a range of arsenicosis symptoms, and numerous arsenic-induced deaths of youthful victims are reported in the GRB. Victims of arsenic exposure face critical social challenges in the form of social isolation and hatred by their respective communities. Reluctance to establish arsenic standards and unsustainable arsenic mitigation programs have aggravated the arsenic calamity in the GRB and put millions of lives in danger. This alarming situation resembles a ticking time bomb. We feel that after 29 years of arsenic research in the GRB, we have seen the tip of the iceberg with respect to the actual magnitude of the catastrophe; thus, a reduced arsenic standard for drinking water, testing all available drinking water sources, and sustainable and cost-effective arsenic mitigation programs that include the participation of the people are urgently needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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Open AccessReview
Arsenic Uptake, Toxicity, Detoxification, and Speciation in Plants: Physiological, Biochemical, and Molecular Aspects
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010059 - 02 Jan 2018
Cited by 126
Abstract
Environmental contamination with arsenic (As) is a global environmental, agricultural and health issue due to the highly toxic and carcinogenic nature of As. Exposure of plants to As, even at very low concentration, can cause many morphological, physiological, and biochemical changes. The recent [...] Read more.
Environmental contamination with arsenic (As) is a global environmental, agricultural and health issue due to the highly toxic and carcinogenic nature of As. Exposure of plants to As, even at very low concentration, can cause many morphological, physiological, and biochemical changes. The recent research on As in the soil-plant system indicates that As toxicity to plants varies with its speciation in plants (e.g., arsenite, As(III); arsenate, As(V)), with the type of plant species, and with other soil factors controlling As accumulation in plants. Various plant species have different mechanisms of As(III) or As(V) uptake, toxicity, and detoxification. This review briefly describes the sources and global extent of As contamination and As speciation in soil. We discuss different mechanisms responsible for As(III) and As(V) uptake, toxicity, and detoxification in plants, at physiological, biochemical, and molecular levels. This review highlights the importance of the As-induced generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), as well as their damaging impacts on plants at biochemical, genetic, and molecular levels. The role of different enzymatic (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione reductase, and ascorbate peroxidase) and non-enzymatic (salicylic acid, proline, phytochelatins, glutathione, nitric oxide, and phosphorous) substances under As(III/V) stress have been delineated via conceptual models showing As translocation and toxicity pathways in plant species. Significantly, this review addresses the current, albeit partially understood, emerging aspects on (i) As-induced physiological, biochemical, and genotoxic mechanisms and responses in plants and (ii) the roles of different molecules in modulation of As-induced toxicities in plants. We also provide insight on some important research gaps that need to be filled to advance our scientific understanding in this area of research on As in soil-plant systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Arsenic Contamination, Bioavailability and Public Health)
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