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Reproductive and developmental effects associated with chronic arsenic exposure.

Hopenhayn-Rich-C; Hertz-Picciotto-I; Browning-S; Ferreccio-C; Peralta-C
Arsenic exposure and health effects. Chappell WR, Abernathy CO, Calderon RL, eds. New York: Chapman & Hall, 1999 Jan; :151-164
Chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic is known to cause cancer and non-cancer health effects in humans. The evidence from animal studies clearly shows that arsenic is teratogenic, and the findings of limited human studies suggest that inorganic arsenic may be associated with several reproductive/developmental outcomes, including increased rates of spontaneous abortion, Low birth weight, congenital malformations, pre-eclampsia and infant mortality. The city of Antofagasta, located in northern Chile, has a history of high arsenic exposure in drinking water. Due to changes in the sources of water, there were considerably high arsenic levels in the public drinking water supply from 1958 to 1970 , which decreased gradually to the current concentrations . A number of studies have reported various health effects associated with the high exposure period, induding skin alterations typically linked to arsenic exposure and increases in bladder and lung cancer. We conducted an ecologic study of infant mortality rates in Chile from 1950 to 1996, comparing Antofagasta to low arsenic exposure areas.Temporal and cross-regional comparisons showed a general steady decline over time in late fetal, neonatal and postneonatal mortality rates for all locations, consistent with improvements in standard of living and health care. However, comparatively high rates were observed in Antofagasta for the three outcomes studied during the 12 year period of highest arsenic exposure, compared to Santiago and Valparaiso, two locations used as reference groups. While not definitive, these findings support a role for arsenic in the ob rved increases in mortality rates. Given the worldwide public health concern for arsenic effects, more population studies are needed in the area of human reproductive and developmental effects.
Chemical-agent-detectors; Chemical-analysis; Chemical-composition; Chemical-hypersensitivity; Chemical-indicators; Chemical-inhibition; Chemical-properties; Chemical-reactions; Chemical-structure; Chemical-synthesis; Children; Education; Educational-resource-centers; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Exposure-methods; Environmental-contamination; Environmental-control; Environmental-exposure; Environmental-factors; Environmental-hazards; Environmental-health; Environmental-health-monitoring; Environmental-physiology; Environmental-pollution; Environmental-protection; Environmental-stress; Environmental-technology; Waste-treatment; Water-analysis; Water-industry; Water-purification; Water-sampling; Hazardous-materials; Hazardous-waste-cleanup; Hazards; Hazards-Confirmed; Arsenic-compounds; Arsenic-herbicides; Arsenic-poisoning; Arsenites; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Public-health; Reproductive-effects; Reproductive-hazards; Reproductive-system-disorders; Drinking-water; Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Mortality-surveys; Author Keywords: arsenic; reproduction; developmental effects; Chile; drinking water; infant mortality; environment
Publication Date
Document Type
Chappell-WR; Abernathy-CO; Calderon-RL
Funding Type
Agriculture; Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Source Name
Arsenic exposure and health effects
Performing Organization
University of Kentucky
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division