No announcement yet.

Woods Hole Scientists Link Influenza A (H1N1) Susceptibility to Arsenic Exposure + Areas of World That Have High Levels of Arsenic

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Woods Hole Scientists Link Influenza A (H1N1) Susceptibility to Arsenic Exposure + Areas of World That Have High Levels of Arsenic

    Here's a Woods Hole press release that might explain the cluster of deaths in Mexico.
    Scientists Link Influenza A (H1N1) Susceptibility to Common Levels of Arsenic Exposure

    MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA—"The ability to mount an immune response to influenza A (H1N1) infection is significantly compromised by a low level of arsenic exposure that commonly occurs through drinking contaminated well water, scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) and Dartmouth Medical School have found.

    Joshua Hamilton, the MBL's Chief Academic and Scientific Officer and a senior scientist in the MBL's Bay Paul Center; graduate student Courtney Kozul of Dartmouth Medical School, where the work was conducted; and their colleagues report their findings this week in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

    "When a normal person or mouse is infected with the flu, they immediately develop an immune response," says Hamilton, in which immune cells rush to the lungs and produce chemicals that help fight the infection. However, in mice that had ingested 100 ppb (parts per billion) arsenic in their drinking water for five weeks, the immune response to H1N1 infection was initially feeble, and when a response finally did kick in days later, it was "too robust and too late," Hamilton says. "There was a massive infiltration of immune cells to the lungs and a massive inflammatory response, which led to bleeding and damage in the lung." Morbidity over the course of the infection was significantly higher for the arsenic-exposed animals than the normal animals.

    Respiratory infections with influenza A virus are a worldwide health concern and are responsible for 36,000 deaths annually. The recent outbreak of the influenza A H1N1 substrain ("swine flu")--which is the same virus that Hamilton and his colleagues used in their arsenic study--to date has killed 72 people in Mexico and 6 in the United States.

    "One thing that did strike us, when we heard about the recent H1N1 outbreak, is Mexico has large areas of very high arsenic in their well water, including the areas where the flu first cropped up. We don't know that the Mexicans who got the flu were drinking high levels of arsenic, but it's an intriguing notion that this may have contributed," Hamilton says."


    Whole article here:
    Never forget Excalibur.
    “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed
    Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

  • #2
    Re: Woods Hole Scientists Link Influenza A (H1N1) Susceptibility to Arsenic Exposure

    WHO Document last updated 2001 - obviously a long standing problem -

    Arsenic in drinking water

    Arsenic may be found in water which has flowed through arsenic-rich rocks. Severe health effects have been observed in populations drinking arsenic-rich water over long periods in countries world-wide.

    • Arsenic is widely distributed throughout the earth's crust.
    • Arsenic is introduced into water through the dissolution of minerals and ores, and concentrations in groundwater in some areas are elevated as a result of erosion from local rocks.
    • Industrial effluents also contribute arsenic to water in some areas.
    • Arsenic is also used commercially e.g. in alloying agents and wood preservatives.
    • Combustion of fossil fuels is a source of arsenic in the environment through disperse atmospheric deposition.
    • Inorganic arsenic can occur in the environment in several forms but in natural waters, and thus in drinking-water, it is mostly found as trivalent arsenite (As(III)) or pentavalent arsenate (As (V)). Organic arsenic species, abundant in seafood, are very much less harmful to health, and are readily eliminated by the body.
    • Drinking-water poses the greatest threat to public health from arsenic. Exposure at work and mining and industrial emissions may also be significant locally.


    • Chronic arsenic poisoning, as occurs after long-term exposure through drinking- water is very different to acute poisoning. Immediate symptoms on an acute poisoning typically include vomiting, oesophageal and abdominal pain, and bloody "rice water" diarrhoea. Chelation therapy may be effective in acute poisoning but should not be used against long-term poisoning.
    • The symptoms and signs that arsenic causes, appear to differ between individuals, population groups and geographic areas. Thus, there is no universal definition of the disease caused by arsenic. This complicates the assessment of the burden on health of arsenic. Similarly, there is no method to identify those cases of internal cancer that were caused by arsenic from cancers induced by other factors.
    • Long-term exposure to arsenic via drinking-water causes cancer of the skin, lungs, urinary bladder, and kidney, as well as other skin changes such as pigmentation changes and thickening (hyperkeratosis).
    • Increased risks of lung and bladder cancer and of arsenic-associated skin lesions have been observed at drinking-water arsenic concentrations of less than 0.05 mg/L.
    • Absorption of arsenic through the skin is minimal and thus hand-washing, bathing, laundry, etc. with water containing arsenic do not pose human health risk.
    • Following long-term exposure, the first changes are usually observed in the skin: pigmentation changes, and then hyperkeratosis. Cancer is a late phenomenon, and usually takes more than 10 years to develop.
    • The relationship between arsenic exposure and other health effects is not clear-cut. For example, some studies have reported hypertensive and cardiovascular disease, diabetes and reproductive effects.
    • Exposure to arsenic via drinking-water has been shown to cause a severe disease of blood vessels leading to gangrene in China (Province of Taiwan), known as 'black foot disease'. This disease has not been observed in other parts of the world, and it is possible that malnutrition contributes to its development. However, studies in several countries have demonstrated that arsenic causes other, less severe forms of peripheral vascular disease.
    • According to some estimates, arsenic in drinking-water will cause 200,000 -- 270,000 deaths from cancer in Bangladesh alone (NRC, 1998; Smith, et al, 2000).


    • Accurate measurement of arsenic in drinking-water at levels relevant to health requires laboratory analysis, using sophisticated and expensive techniques and facilities as well as trained staff not easily available or affordable in many parts of the world.
    • Analytical quality control and external validation remain problematic.
    • Field test kits can detect high levels of arsenic but are typically unreliable at lower concentrations of concern for human health. Reliability of field methods is yet to be fully evaluated.

    Prevention and control

    The most important remedial action is prevention of further exposure by providing safe drinking- water. The cost and difficulty of reducing arsenic in drinking-water increases as the targeted concentration lowers. It varies with the arsenic concentration in the source water, the chemical matrix of the water including interfering solutes, availability of alternative sources of low arsenic water, mitigation technologies, amount of water to be treated, etc.
    Control of arsenic is more complex where drinking-water is obtained from many individual sources (such as hand-pumps and wells) as is common in rural areas. Low arsenic water is only needed for drinking and cooking. Arsenic-rich water can be used safely for laundry and bathing. Discrimination between high-arsenic and low-arsenic sources by painting the hand-pumps (e.g. red and green) can be an effective and low cost means to rapidly reduce exposure to arsenic when accompanied by effective health education.
    Alternative low-arsenic sources such as rain water and treated surface water may be available and appropriate in some circumstances. Where low arsenic water is not available, it is necessary to remove arsenic from drinking-water:
    • The technology for arsenic removal for piped water supply is moderately costly and requires technical expertise. It is inapplicable in some urban areas of developing countries and in most rural areas world-wide.
    • New types of treatment technologies, including co-precipitation, ion exchange and activated alumina filtration are being field-tested.
    • There are no proven technologies for the removal of arsenic at water collection points such as wells, hand-pumps and springs.
    • Simple technologies for household removal of arsenic from water are few and have to be adapted to, and proven sustainable in each different setting.
    • Some studies have reported preliminary successes in using packets of chemicals for household treatment. Some mixtures combine arsenic removal with disinfection. One example, developed by the WHO/PAHO Pan American Center of Sanitary Engineering and Environmental Sciences in Lima, Peru (CEPIS), has proven successful in Latin America.

    WHO's activities on arsenic

    WHO's norms for drinking-water quality go back to 1958. The International Standards for Drinking-Water established 0.20 mg/L as an allowable concentration for arsenic in that year. In 1963 the standard was re-evaluated and reduced to 0.05 mg/L. In 1984, this was maintained as WHO's "Guideline Value"; and many countries have kept this as the national standard or as an interim target. According to the last edition of the WHO Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality (1993):
    • Inorganic arsenic is a documented human carcinogen.
    • 0.01 mg/L was established as a provisional guideline value for arsenic.
    • Based on health criteria, the guideline value for arsenic in drinking-water would be less than 0.01mg/L.
    • Because the guideline value is restricted by measurement limitations, and 0.01 mg/L is the realistic limit to measurement, this is termed a provisional guideline value.

    The WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality is intended for use as a basis for the development of national standards in the context of local or national environmental, social, economic, and cultural conditions.
    The summary of an updated International Programme on Chemical Safety Environmental Health Criteria Document on Arsenic published by WHO is available at It addresses all aspects of risks to human health and the environment. The full text will be published in late 2001.
    A UN report on arsenic in drinking-water has been prepared in cooperation with other UN agencies under the auspices of an inter-agency coordinating body (the Administrative Committee on Coordination's Sub-committee on Water Resources. It provides a synthesis of available information on chemical, toxicological, medical, epidemiological, nutritional and public health issues; develops a basic strategy to cope with the problem and advises on removal technologies and on water quality management. The draft of the report is available at
    Information on arsenic in drinking-water on a country-by-country basis is being collected and will be added to the UN report and made available on the web site.
    As part of WHO's activities on the global burden of disease, an estimate of the disease burden associated with arsenic in drinking-water is in preparation. A report entitled "Towards an assessment of the socioeconomic impact of arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh" was released in 2000.
    A United Nations Foundation grant for 2.5 million approved in July 2000, will enable UNICEF and WHO to support a project to provide clean drinking-water alternatives to 1.1 million people in three of the worst affected sub-districts in Bangladesh. The project utilizes an integrated approach involving communication, capacity building for arsenic mitigation of all stakeholders at subdistrict level and below, tube-well testing, patient management, and provision of alternative water supply options.
    Urgent requirements

    • Large-scale support to the management of the problem in developing countries with substantial, severely affected populations.
    • Simple, reliable, low-cost equipment for field measurement.
    • Increased availability and dissemination of relevant information.
    • Robust affordable technologies for arsenic removal at wells and in households.

    Global situation

    The delayed health effects of exposure to arsenic, the lack of common definitions and of local awareness as well as poor reporting in affected areas are major problems in determining the extent of the arsenic-in-drinking-water problem.
    Reliable data on exposure and health effects are rarely available, but it is clear that there are many countries in the world where arsenic in drinking-water has been detected at concentration greater than the Guideline Value, 0.01 mg/L or the prevailing national standard. These include Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Chile, China, Hungary, India, Mexico, Peru, Thailand, and the United States of America. Countries where adverse health effects have been documented include Bangladesh, China, India (West Bengal), and the United States of America. Examples are:
    • Seven of 16 districts of West Bengal have been reported to have ground water arsenic concentrations above 0.05 mg/L; the total population in these seven districts is over 34 million (Mandal, et al, 1996) and it has been estimated that the population actually using arsenic-rich water is more than 1 million (above 0.05 mg/L) and is 1.3 million (above 0.01 mg/L) (Chowdhury, et al, 1997).
    • According to a British Geological Survey study in 1998 on shallow tube-wells in 61 of the 64 districts in Bangladesh, 46% of the samples were above 0.010 mg/L and 27% were above 0.050 mg/L. When combined with the estimated 1999 population, it was estimated that the number of people exposed to arsenic concentrations above 0.05 mg/l is 28-35 million and the number of those exposed to more than 0.01 mg/l is 46-57 million (BGS, 2000).
    • Environment Protection Agency of The United States of America has estimated that some 13 million of the population of USA, mostly in the western states, are exposed to arsenic in drinking- water at 0.01 mg/L, although concentrations appear to be typically much lower than those encountered in areas such as Bangladesh and West Bengal. (USEPA, 2001)

    Arsenic in Bangladesh

    In Bangladesh, West Bengal (India) and some other areas, most drinking-water used to be collected from open dug wells and ponds with little or no arsenic, but with contaminated water transmitting diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid, cholera and hepatitis. Programmes to provide "safe" drinking-water over the past 30 years have helped to control these diseases, but in some areas they have had the unexpected side-effect of exposing the population to another health problem - arsenic.
    Arsenic in drinking-water in Bangladesh is attracting much attention for a number of reasons. It is a new, unfamiliar problem to the population, including concerned professionals. There are millions of people who may be affected by drinking arsenic-rich water. Last, but not least, fear for future adverse health effects as a result of water already consumed.
    • In recent years, extensive well drilling programme has contributed to a significant decrease in the incidence of diarrhoeal diseases.
    • It has been suggested that there are between 8-12 million shallow tube-wells in Bangladesh. Up to 90% of the Bangladesh population of 130 million prefer to drink well water. Piped water supplies are available only to a little more than 10% of the total population living in the large agglomerations and some district towns.
    • Until the discovery of arsenic in groundwater in 1993, well water was regarded as safe for drinking.
    • It is now generally agreed that the arsenic contamination of groundwater in Bangladesh is of geological origin. The arsenic derives from the geological strata underlying Bangladesh.

    • The most commonly manifested disease so far is skin lesions. Over the next decade, skin and internal cancers are likely to become the principal human health concern arising from arsenic.
    • According to one estimate, at least 100,000 cases of skin lesions caused by arsenic have occurred and there may be many more (Smith, et al, 2000).
    • The number of people drinking arsenic-rich water in Bangladesh has increased dramatically since the 1970s due to well-drilling and population growth.
    • The impact of arsenic extends from immediate health effect to extensive social and economic hardship that effects especially the poor. Costs of health care, inability of affected persons to engage in productive activities and potential social exclusion are important factors.
    • The national standard for drinking-water in Bangladesh is 0.05 mg/L, same as in India.
    • District and sub-district health officials and workers lack sufficient knowledge as to the identification and prevention of arsenic poisoning.
    • The poor availability of reliable information hinders action at all levels and may lead to panic, exacerbated if misleading reports are made. Effective information channels have yet to be established to those affected and concerned.

    Remedial actions
    • Within Bangladesh, a number of governmental technical and advisory committees have been formed and a co-ordinating mechanism established among the interested external support agencies. These committees include the Governmental Arsenic Co-ordinating Committee headed by the Minister of Health & Family Welfare (MHFW) and several technical committees. One of the positive outcomes of this collaboration (including work with local institutes) has been the testing of new types of treatment technologies.
    • So far, many initiatives have focused on water quality testing and control with a view to supplying arsenic-free drinking-water, thereby reducing the risk of further arsenic-related disease. The amount of testing required and the need to provide effective feedback to those using well water, suggest use of field testing kits.
    • Only a few proven sustainable options are available to provide safe drinking-water in Bangladesh. These include: obtaining low-arsenic groundwater through accessing safe shallow groundwater or deeper aquifers (greater than 200 m); rain water harvesting; pond-sand-filtration; household chemical treatment; and piped water supply from safe or treated sources.


    • #3
      Re: Woods Hole Scientists Link Influenza A (H1N1) Susceptibility to Arsenic Exposure

      Arsenic contamination of groundwater

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Jump to: navigation, search
      <!-- start content --> Main article: Water pollution

      Arsenic contamination of groundwater is a natural occurring high concentration of arsenic in deeper levels of groundwater, which became a high-profile problem in recent years due to the use of deep tubewells for water supply in the Ganges Delta, causing serious arsenic poisoning to large numbers of people. A 2007 study found that over 137 million people in more than 70 countries are probably affected by arsenic poisoning of drinking water.<sup id="cite_ref-0" class="reference">[1]</sup> Arsenic contamination of ground water is found in many countries throughout the world, including the USA. <sup id="cite_ref-1" class="reference">[2]

      </sup> Approximately 20 incidents of groundwater arsenic contamination have been reported from all over the world. <sup id="cite_ref-2" class="reference">[3]</sup> Of these, four major incidents were in Asia, including locations in Thailand, Taiwan, and Mainland China.<sup id="cite_ref-unesco_planet_3-0" class="reference">[4]</sup> <sup id="cite_ref-chowdhury_4-0" class="reference">[5]</sup> South American countries like Argentina and Chile have also been affected. There are also many locations in the United States where the groundwater contains arsenic concentrations in excess of the Environmental Protection Agency standard of 10 parts per billion adopted in 2001.

      Arsenic is a carcinogen which causes many cancers including skin, lung, and bladder as well as cardiovascular disease.

      Some research concludes that even at the lower concentrations, there is still a risk of arsenic contamination leading to major causes of death. A study was conducted in a contiguous six-county study area of southeastern Michigan to investigate the relationship between moderate arsenic levels and twenty-three selected disease outcomes. Disease outcomes included several types of cancer, diseases of the circulatory and respiratory system, diabetes mellitus, and kidney and liver diseases. Elevated mortality rates were observed for all diseases of the circulatory system. The researchers acknowledged a need to replicate their findings.<sup id="cite_ref-5" class="reference">[6]

      </sup> A study preliminarily shows a relationship between arsenic exposure measured in urine and Type II diabetes. The results supported the hypothesis that low levels of exposure to inorganic arsenic in drinking water may play a role in diabetes prevalence.<sup id="cite_ref-6" class="reference">[7]

      </sup> Arsenic in drinking water may also compromise immune function <cite style="font-style: normal;" class="web">"Scientists link influenza A (H1N1) susceptibility to common levels of arsenic exposure".</cite> .


      • #4
        Re: Woods Hole Scientists Link Influenza A (H1N1) Susceptibility to Arsenic Exposure

        Arsenic round the world: a review

        Badal Kumar Mandal and Kazuo T. Suzuki<sup></sup><sup>, </sup><sup></sup>
        <!-- authorsNoEnt --> Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chiba University, Chiba 263-8522, Japan

        <!-- authorsNoEnt -->
        <!-- articleText -->
        Received 7 December 2001;
        <!-- articleText -->revised 8 February 2002.
        <!-- articleText -->Available online 12 June 2002.
        <!-- articleText -->
        <!-- articleText --> Abstract

        This review deals with environmental origin, occurrence, episodes, and impact on human health of arsenic. Arsenic, a metalloid occurs naturally, being the 20th most abundant element in the earth's crust, and is a component of more than 245 minerals. These are mostly ores containing sulfide, along with copper, nickel, lead, cobalt, or other metals. Arsenic and its compounds are mobile in the environment. Weathering of rocks converts arsenic sulfides to arsenic trioxide, which enters the arsenic cycle as dust or by dissolution in rain, rivers, or groundwater. So, groundwater contamination by arsenic is a serious threat to mankind all over the world. It can also enter food chain causing wide spread distribution throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. However, fish, fruits, and vegetables primarily contain organic arsenic, less than 10% of the arsenic in these foods exists in the inorganic form, although the arsenic content of many foods (i.e. milk and dairy products, beef and pork, poultry, and cereals) is mainly inorganic, typically 65–75%. A few recent studies report 85–95% inorganic arsenic in rice and vegetables, which suggest more studies for standardisation. Humans are exposed to this toxic arsenic primarily from air, food, and water. Thousands and thousands of people are suffering from the toxic effects of arsenicals in many countries all over the world due to natural groundwater contamination as well as industrial effluent and drainage problems. Arsenic, being a normal component of human body is transported by the blood to different organs in the body, mainly in the form of MMA after ingestion. It causes a variety of adverse health effects to humans after acute and chronic exposures such as dermal changes (pigmentation, hyperkeratoses, and ulceration), respiratory, pulmonary, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hematological, hepatic, renal, neurological, developmental, reproductive, immunologic, genotoxic, mutagenetic, and carcinogenic effects. Key research studies are needed for improving arsenic risk assessment at low exposure levels urgently among all the arsenic research groups.

        <!-- articleText --> Author Keywords: Arsenic; Chronic arsenic toxicity; Carcinogenic effects

        <!-- articleText --> Article Outline

        <dl><dt>1. Introduction</dt><dt>2. Occurrence</dt><dl><dt>2.1. Natural sources</dt><dl><dt>2.1.1. Earth crusts</dt><dt>2.1.2. Soil and sediment</dt><dl><dt> Soil</dt><dl><dt> Background values of arsenic</dt><dt> Arsenic in soil</dt><dt> Sediment</dt></dl></dl><dt>2.1.3. Water</dt><dt>2.1.4. Air</dt><dt>2.1.5. Living organisms</dt><dl><dt> Plants</dt><dt> Animals and human beings</dt></dl></dl><dt>2.2. Anthropogenic sources</dt><dl><dt>2.2.1. Man made sources</dt><dt>2.2.2. Insecticides</dt><dt>2.2.3. Herbicides</dt><dt>2.2.4. Desiccants and wood preservatives</dt><dt>2.2.5. Feed additives</dt></dl><dt>2.3. Drugs</dt><dt>2.4. Poison</dt></dl><dt>3. Metabolisms and toxicity of arsenic</dt><dl><dt>3.1. Metabolisms</dt><dt>3.2. Toxicity</dt><dl><dt>3.2.1. Respiratory effects</dt><dt>3.2.2. Pulmonary effects</dt><dt>3.2.3. Cardiovascular effects</dt><dt>3.2.4. Gastrointestinal effects</dt><dt>3.2.5. Hematological effects</dt><dt>3.2.6. Hepatic effects</dt><dt>3.2.7. Renal effects</dt><dt>3.2.8. Dermal effects</dt><dt>3.2.9. Neurological effects</dt><dt>3.2.10. Developmental effects</dt><dt>3.2.11. Reproductive effects</dt><dt>3.2.12. Immunologic effects</dt><dt>3.2.13. Genotoxic effects</dt><dt>3.2.14. Mutagenetic effects</dt><dt>3.2.15. Carcinogenic effects</dt><dt>3.2.16. Diabetes mellitus</dt><dt>3.2.17. Biochemical effects</dt></dl></dl><dt>4. Arsenic episodes round the world</dt><dl><dt>4.1. Natural groundwater arsenic contamination</dt><dl><dt>4.1.1. Taiwan incident</dt><dt>4.1.2. Antofagasta, Chile incident</dt><dt>4.1.3. West Bengal-India incident</dt><dt>4.1.4. Mexico incident</dt><dt>4.1.5. Argentina incident</dt><dt>4.1.6. Millard County, Utah, USA incident</dt><dt>4.1.7. Lane County, Western Oregon, USA incident</dt><dt>4.1.8. Lessen County, California, USA incident</dt><dt>4.1.9. Ontario, Canada incident</dt><dt>4.1.10. Nova Scotia, Canada incident</dt><dt>4.1.11. Hungary incident</dt><dt>4.1.12. New Zealand incident</dt><dt>4.1.13. Poland incident</dt><dt>4.1.14. Fairbanks, Alaska incident</dt><dt>4.1.15. Srilanka incident</dt><dt>4.1.16. Spain incident</dt><dt>4.1.17. China incident</dt><dt>4.1.18. Northern India incident</dt><dt>4.1.19. Bangladesh incident</dt><dt>4.1.20. Fallon, Nevada Incident</dt><dt>4.1.21. Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan incident</dt><dt>4.1.22. New Hampshire, USA incident</dt><dt>4.1.23. Vietnam incident</dt></dl><dt>4.2. Arsenic contamination from industrial sources</dt><dl><dt>4.2.1. Ronphibun, Thailand incident</dt><dt>4.2.2. Mindanao Island, Philippines incident</dt><dt>4.2.3. Nakajo, Japan incident</dt><dt>4.2.4. Toroku and Matsuo, Japan incident</dt><dt>4.2.5. Other incidents in Japan</dt><dt>4.2.6. P.N. Mitra Lane, Behala, Calcutta, India incident</dt><dt>4.2.7. Rajnandgaon district, Madhya Pradesh, India incident</dt><dt>4.2.8. Australia incident</dt><dt>4.2.9. Czechoslovakia incident</dt><dt>4.2.10. Toronto, Ontario, Canada incident</dt><dt>4.2.11. Greece incident</dt><dt>4.2.12. Ghana incident</dt><dt>4.2.13. USA incident</dt><dt>4.2.14. British incident</dt><dt>4.2.15. Southern Rhodesia incident</dt><dt>4.2.16. Torreon, Mexico incident</dt><dt>4.2.17. Northern Sweden incident</dt><dt>4.2.18. Armadale, central Scotland incident</dt><dt>4.2.19. Srednogorie, Bulgaria incident</dt></dl><dt>4.3. Arsenic contamination from food and beverage</dt><dl><dt>4.3.1. Soyasauce incident in Japan</dt><dt>4.3.2. Powdered milk incident in Japan</dt><dt>4.3.3. Wine incident in Manchester, England</dt><dt>4.3.4. Wine Incident in Germany</dt><dt>4.3.5. Guizhou Province, China Incident</dt><dt>4.3.6. Yunan Incident, China</dt></dl></dl><dt>Acknowledgements</dt><dt>References</dt></dl>


        • #5
          Re: Woods Hole Scientists Link Influenza A (H1N1) Susceptibility to Arsenic Exposure

          FluTrackers is purchasing this article and will post shortly. We thank the authors and the Science Direct for their contribution to humanity in this world public health crisis.


          • #6
            Re: Woods Hole Scientists Link Influenza A (H1N1) Susceptibility to Arsenic Exposure

            Some southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam and Cambodia, have very high levels of arsenic in their ground waters. It seems to me they also had very high levels of H5N1 mortality?


            • #7
              Re: Woods Hole Scientists Link Influenza A (H1N1) Susceptibility to Arsenic Exposure

              Related thread:

              Argentina has the world’s highest rate of deaths associated with swine flu infections


              • #8
                Re: Woods Hole Scientists Link Influenza A (H1N1) Susceptibility to Arsenic Exposure

                Arsenic round the world: a review
                Badal Kumar Mandal, Kazuo T. Suzuki *
                Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chiba Uniersity, Chiba 263 -8522, Japan
                Received 7 December 2001; received in revised form 8 February 2002

                4.1.1. Taiwan incident

                The arsenic contamination incident in well water
                on the south-west coast of Taiwan (1961–
                1985) is well known [278–280]. The population of
                endemic area is about 140,000. In the villages
                surveyed, the arsenic content of the well water
                examined, ranges from 0.01 to 1.82 mg l−1. Most
                of the well water in the endemic area has arsenic
                content around 0.4–0.6 mg l−1. The predominant
                arsenic species in the well waters is iAsIII with an
                average iAsIII to iAsV ratio of 2.6. Chronic arsenicism
                is observed in a population of 40,421 in 37
                villages, and 7418 cases of hyperpigmentation,
                2868 of keratosis, 360 of BFD patients [281], and
                some cases of cancer (liver, lung, skin, prostate,
                bladder, kidney) [281–285] are observed. The
                source material of the arsenic is likely to be
                pyretic material or black shale occurring in underlying
                geological strata [278]. It is thought at beginning
                that arsenic alone is responsible for BFD
                of the area [286]. The discovery in 1975 of fluorescent
                compounds in these well waters leads to the
                isolation of humic substances, which in combination
                with arsenic is thought to be probable cause
                for the BFD [287]. To save the people of the
                Taiwan endemic areas, a water treatment plant is
                run to remove arsenic from groundwater before

                4.1.2. Antofagasta, Chile incident

                About 130,000 inhabitants of the city has been
                drinking supplied water with high content of arsenic
                (0.8 mg l−1) for 12 years from 1959 to 1970
                [288]. The source of the high arsenic content in
                water is the Tocance River, of which water comes
                from the Andes Mountain at an altitude of 3000
                m and is brought 300 km to Antofagasta. At the
                beginning of 1960s, the first dermatological manifestation
                was noted, especially in children [288].
                Peripheral vascular manifestations in these children
                included Raynaud’s syndrome, ischemia of
                the tongue, hemiplegia with partial occlusion of
                the carotid artery, mesenteric arterial thrombosis
                and myocardial ischemia. One autopsy showed
                hyperplasia of the arterial media. In a survey of
                27,088 school children, 12% are found to have the
                cutaneous changes of arsenicism, one-fourth to
                one-third of these has suggestive systematic symptoms.
                Eleven percent has acrocyanosis. Of the
                Antofagastan residents, 144 have abnormal skin
                pigmentation, compared with none in the 98 control
                subjects. Recent studies [212,289] also document
                arsenic-induced skin lesions, and increased
                bladder and lung cancer mortality in Northern
                To save the people, a water treatment plant is
                run to remove arsenic from drinking water before
                use. The sources of arsenic have been reported as
                quaternary volcanogenic sediments, minerals and
                soil [290]. Samples taken from 23 locations at
                Aracamenan settlements near Calama range from
                less than 100 to more than 800 g As l−1. Most
                of the arsenic is present as arsenate, but some
                arsenite is also determined. Five soils irrigated
                with high arsenic waters range from 86 to 446 mg
                As kg−1 compared to 64 mg As kg−1 in one
                control sample.

                4.1.3. West Bengal-India incident

                Around 1978 various aspects of arsenic groundwater
                contamination and arsenicosis among people
                in some villages of West Bengal first came to
                the notice of Government of West Bengal [291].
                Several recent studies [22,63,67,151,291–294] report
                that about 6 million people of 2600 villages
                in 74 arsenic-affected blocks of West Bengal, India
                are in risk and 8500 (9.8%) out of 86,000
                people examined are suffering from arsenicosis,
                while the source is oxidation of arsenic rich pyrite
                or anoxic reduction of ferric iron hydroxides in
                the sediments to ferrous iron and thereby releasing
                the adsorbed arsenic to groundwater.

                4.1.4. Mexico incident

                Chronic arsenic exposure via drinking water is
                reported in six areas of Region Lagunera, situated
                in the central part of North Mexico with a population
                of 200,000 during 1963–1983 [295]. The
                range of total arsenic concentrations is 0.008–
                0.624 mg l−1, and concentrations greater than
                0.05 mg l−1 are found in 50% of them. Most of
                the arsenic is in inorganic form and pentavalent
                arsenic is the predominant species in 93% of the
                samples [61]. In 36% of the rest samples, however,
                variable percentages (20–50%), of trivalent arsenic
                are found. It is also observed that high
                concentrations of fluoride in the range of 0.5–3.7
                mg l−1 and concentrations greater than 1.5 mg
                l−1 are found in 20% of the analysed samples
                The symptoms observed in this area are cutaneous
                manifestations (skin pigmentation changes,
                keratosis and skin cancer), peripheral vascular
                disease (BFD), gastrointestinal disturbances and
                alteration in the coporphyrin/uroporphyrin excretion
                ratio [297]. It is found that the proportion of
                individuals (per age group) affected with cutaneous
                lesion increase with age until the age of 50.
                The shortest is 8 years for hypopigmentation, 12
                years for hyperpigmentation and palmo-planter
                keratosis, 25 years for papular keratosis and 38
                years for ulcerative lesions [298]. The source of
                arsenic is assumed to be geological (volcanic sediment)

                4.1.5. Argentina incident

                Similar incident of arsenic contamination in
                groundwater is also reported in Monte Quemado
                of Cordoba province, north of Argentina [62].
                The occurrence of endemic arsenical skin disease
                and cancer is first recognized in 1955. Total population
                of the endemic area is about 10,000. From
                the observations in the Cordoba, it is concluded
                [62,209] that the regular intake of drinking water
                containing more than 0.1 mg l−1 of arsenic leads
                to clearly recognizable signs of intoxication and
                ultimately might develop into skin cancer. Biagini
                followed 116 patients with clear signs of chronic
                arsenic disease over a number of years [299]. After
                15 years of follow-up, 78 had died, 24 from cancer
                (i.e. 30.7% of total deaths). In Monte Quemado,
                the problem seems to be ultimately solved by
                building a canal that supplies the town with arsenic
                free water from Salta province.

                Again, elevated concentrations of arsenic in
                surface waters, shallow wells and thermal springs
                are reported from the Salta and Jujay provinces in
                northwestern Argentina [300]. This natural contamination
                is related to Tertiary-Quaternary volcanic
                deposits, together with post-volcanic geysers
                and thermal springs. Waters abstracted for drinking
                supplies for the population of 5000 in the
                town of San Antonio de los Cobres ranges from
                0.47 to 0.77 mg l−1. Thermal springs range from
                0.05 to 9.9 mg l−1 of arsenic.

                A strong natural contamination of groundwater
                with arsenic and selenium is reported in the
                Pampa Province of Cordoba, southeast Argentina.
                The arsenic content of nearly 50% of the
                water samples from this area ranges from 0.1 to
                0.316 mg l−1 with a maximum value of 3.81 mg
                l−1 [64,301]. Groundwater contamination is
                caused from loess, which differed in composition
                to loess from Europe, Asia and North America
                [64], with arsenic concentrations ranging from 5.5
                to 37.3 mg kg−1, and rhyolitic volcanic glass
                ranging from 6.8 to 10.4 mg kg−1.

                4.1.6. Millard County, Utah, USA incident

                West Millard County is a desert area with low
                population density and around 250 people drinking
                well water of arsenic content between 0.18 and
                0.21 mg l−1 and the predominant arsenic species
                is arsenate (86% As5+) [302]. Participants are
                examined for specific signs of arsenic toxicity including
                palmer and plantar (palms and soles)
                keratoses, diffuse palmer and plantar hyperkeratoses
                and skin suggestive of arsenic toxicity is
                rare, with only 12 of 149 participants having any
                signs associated with arsenic ingestion. Participants
                from Deseret have the highest average arsenic
                in urine concern of 0.211 mg l−1 (n=40)
                and that of Hinckley participants have 0.175 mg
                l−1 (n=95) compared to control from Delta of
                0.048 mg l−1 (n=99). The highest average arsenic
                concentration in hair is 1.21 mg kg−1 (n=80)
                from Hinckley residents and that of Deseret residents
                is 1.09 mg kg−1 (n=37) compared to control
                from Delta of 0.32 mg kg−1 (n=68). Lewis
                et al. [303] recently reports hypertensive heart
                disease, nephritis, nephrosis, and prostate cancer
                among the people of the arsenic-affected areas in

                4.1.7. Lane County, Western Oregon, USA

                Well water in Central Lane County [304], located
                in Western Oregon about midway between
                the Colombia river and the northern boundary of
                California gets contaminated with arsenic during
                November 1962–March 1963. The concentration
                range of arsenic in wells is 0.05–1.7 mg l−1. Wells
                in Eugene, Creswell, and Grove districts in Central
                Lane County which were known to yield
                arsenic rich groundwater are in an area underlain
                by a particular group of sedimentary and volcanic
                rocks, which geologists have named the Fisher
                formation [305]. The largest concentrations of
                arsenic are found in samples from the Creswell

                4.1.8. Lessen County, California, USA incident

                In the Lessen County, California, similar arsenic
                poisoning in well water is observed. The
                range of arsenic in the well water is 0.05–1.4 mg
                l−1. It is found that arsenic is present in drinking
                water above 0.05 (0.03) mg l−1 and an increased
                level of arsenic in their hairs reflects body
                burden due to arsenic exposure [306].

                4.1.9. Ontario, Canada incident

                In 1937, Wyllie [307] reported that water from
                some deep wells in Rocky Mountain areas of
                Ontario, Canada were known to contain large
                amounts of arsenic. The source of arsenic in well
                water is ferrous arsenate where arsenic in water
                varies from 0.10 to 0.41 mg l−1 as As2O3. Preliminary
                experiments show that arsenic as arsenate is
                the primary source of arsenic, which contaminated
                the well water. One person died of arsenic
                dermatosis. The whole family members of the
                victim died are also afflicted due to this arsenic

                4.1.10. Nova Scotia, Canada incident

                In 1976, several wells in Halifax County, Nova
                Scotia are contaminated with arsenic [308] with
                concentration greater than 3 mg l−1. More than
                50 families have been affected due to arsenic
                poisoning [309]. Recently, Boyle et al. [310] reports
                also occurrences of elevated arsenic concentrations
                in bedrock groundwaters used for
                individual and municipal water supplies in the
                mainland coast of southern British Columbia,

                4.1.11. Hungary incident

                In Hungary also similar arsenic contamination
                in the well water is observed [311,312] in the years
                1941–1983. The amount of arsenic present in the
                well water is in the range of 0.06–4.00 mg l−1.
                Recently, concentrations of arsenic above 50 g
                l−1 are identified in groundwaters from alluvial
                sediments associated with the River Danube in
                the southern part of the Great Hungarian Plain.
                Concentrations up to 150 g l−1 (average 32 g
                l−1, 85 samples) are found by Varsa´nyi et al. [54].
                The Plain, some 110,000 km2 in area, consists of a
                thick sequence of subsiding Quaternary sedi
                ments. The groundwaters have highest arsenic
                concentrations in the lowest parts of the basin,
                where the sediment is fine-grained [54]. A few
                thousand people are affected and several symptoms
                of arsenic poisoning viz, melanosis, hyperkeratosis,
                skin cancer, internal cancer, bronchitis,
                gastroenteritis, haematologic abnormalities are
                found among them [313].

                4.1.12. New Zealand incident

                In 1939, Grimmet and McIntosh described arsenic
                contamination of groundwater and the resulting
                effects on the health of livestock [314].
                Later on in 1961, high levels of arsenic were
                found in water from areas of thermal activity.
                Thermal waters in New Zealand contain up to 8.5
                mg As l−1 [315]. Aggett and Aspell [316] studied
                the chemical forms of arsenic in water samples. In
                the geothermal bores, more than 90% of the arsenic
                is present in the trivalent form.

                4.1.13. Poland incident

                A small case is observed in Poland in 1898 [317]
                with some skin cancer among the arsenic affected
                persons. It is interesting to note that there is no
                published data on this incident.

                4.1.14. Fairbanks, Alaska incident

                In the well water, spring of Fairbanks, Alaska,
                arsenic is found above 0.05 mg l−1. The study is
                initiated to evaluate the arsenic content of streams
                and groundwaters of the Pedro-Dome Cleary
                Summit area approximately 30 km north of Fairbanks,
                Alaska in the heart of the historic Fairbanks
                Mining District. Arsenic is associated with
                gold mineralization here and is believed to reach
                the water of the area through weathering of arsenic
                containing rocks.

                The arsenic concentrations in 53 water samples
                from wells and springs range from less than 0.005
                to 0.07 mg l−1. Eighty percent of the samples
                contain less than 0.01 mg l−1 and 95% of the
                samples contained less than 0.05 mg l−1 [318].
                The arsenic levels in 243 well water range from
                less than 0.05 to greater than 0.10 mg l−1. About
                28% of the samples contain arsenic less than 0.05
                mg l−1, 40% of the samples contained less than
                0.10 mg l−1 and about 20% of the samples contain
                greater than 0.10 mg l−1. Well water arsenic
                concentrations in the Ester Dome study area
                range from less than 1.0 to 14 mg l−1 and for the
                study population range from less than 1.0 to 2.45
                mg l−1 with a mean of 0.224 mg l−1. An epidemiological
                study was made in 1976 [319], which
                suggested no clinical or haematological abnormalities
                among these people. Urine arsenic levels
                above 0.02 mg l−1 are found in 130/198 (66%),
                hair arsenic levels above 1 mg kg−1 occur in
                74/181 (41%) and nail arsenic levels above 4 mg
                kg−1 in 49/132 (37%) of the study population.

                4.1.15. Sri lanka incident

                In a clinical study of 13 cases of polyneuropathy
                connected with arsenic poisoning, in Srilanka,
                Senanayake et al. [320] found Mee’s line, i.e.
                transverse white bands across finger nails, to be
                the constant feature at least 6 weeks after the
                onset of initial symptoms. In seven of these cases,
                the source of arsenic was contaminated well water,
                four others had a long history of consuming
                illicit liquor.

                4.1.16. Spain incident

                Manzano and Tellow summarized their experiences
                in treating arsenic poisoning caused by well
                water in certain areas of Spain [321].

                4.1.17. China incident

                During the 1980s, the endemic arsenicosis was
                found successively in many areas on mainland
                China such as Xinjiang Uygur A. R., Inner Mongolia,
                Shanxi, Liaoning, Jilin, Ningxia, Qinghai,
                and Henan provinces [322–328]. The arsenic concentration
                in the groundwater in these affected
                areas is in the range of 220–2000 g l−1 with the
                highest level at 4440 g l−1. Consequently, a large
                sector of the rural population has been exposed to
                chronic arsenic poisoning (CAP) resulting from
                consuming well water with naturally occurring
                high levels of arsenic during the past decades. At
                present, the population exposed to high amounts
                of arsenic is estimated to be over 2 million and
                more than 20,000 arsenicosis patients are confirmed
                [328]. The water of the deep-wells, however
                contains fluoride and arsenic [323]. Fluorosis was
                first found in the 1970s and arsenicism in 1980.
                One of the characteristics of the Kuitun case is the
                fact that there are three groups of patients among
                the residents who drank the same well water for a
                long time. Namely, one group suffers from fluorosis,
                the second group from arsenicism and the
                third group from both fluorosis and arsenicism

                The cause of contamination is considered to be
                geological. Major clinical symptoms observed are
                keratosis, pigmentation, melanosis or leucoderma
                on the skin, often accompanied with peripheral
                neuritis, gastroenteritis, and hypertrophy of the
                liver, bronchitis or cardiac infarction. At later
                stages skin cancer and gangrene are also found.
                Feng et al. [329] recently reports DNA damage in
                buccal epithelial cells from individuals from this
                arsenic-affected area. Various measures are taken
                to supply clean water.

                4.1.18. Northern India incident

                In Ropar, Manimajra, Chandigarh, N. Garh,
                Patiala and Ambala around Chandigarh of Punjab
                and Haryana of India, the arsenic concentration
                in water from wells and springs were higher
                than the WHO limit of safety for human consumption
                [330] with 0.05–0.545 mg l−1 of arsenic.
                Cirrhosis (adult and childhood), non-cirrhotic
                portal fibrosis and extra hepatic portal vein obstruction
                in adults are very common in India and
                suggests that consumption of arsenic-contaminated
                water may have some role in the pathogenesis
                of these clinical states [331]. The patients who
                consumed the water containing arsenic 0.545 mg
                l−1 throughout life are suffering from non-cirrhotic
                portal fibrosis (N.C.P.F.), whereas their
                two relatives consuming same water reveal gross
                splenomegaly, but with normal liver function tests
                [332]. The source of arsenic is still unknown.

                4.1.19. Bangladesh incident

                Several recent studies [23,216,292,333] report
                that about 25 million people of 2000 villages in
                178 arsenic-affected blocks of Bangladesh are in
                risk and 3695 (20.6%) out of 17,896 people examined
                are suffering from arsenicosis, while the
                source is oxidation of arsenic rich pyrite or anoxic
                reduction of ferric iron hydroxides in the sediments
                to ferrous iron and thereby releasing the
                adsorbed arsenic to groundwater. To combat the
                situation, Bangladesh need a proper utilization of
                its vast surface and rainwater resources and
                proper watershed management.

                4.1.20. Fallon, Neada Incident

                In 1984, Viz et al. [334] were unable to detect
                any increase in chromosomal aberrations or sister
                chromatid exchange in residents of Fallon, Nevada,
                where drinking water contained about 0.10
                mg As l−1. From literature it is found that the
                health status of these arsenic exposed populations
                is not adversely affected [335].

                4.1.21. Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan incident

                In March 1994, arsenic over the permissible
                level for drinking use (0.01 mg l−1) is detected in
                well waters in the southern region of Fukuoka
                Prefecture, Japan [71]. The highest concentration
                found is 0.293 mg l−1, being quite high compared
                to other arsenic-containing well waters reported in
                Japan as a geological process. The mechanisms of
                arsenite/arsenate elution from the soil proposed
                are which involved: (i) anion exchange with OH−;
                and (ii) reductive labialization of arsenic through
                conversion of arsenate to arsenite.

                4.1.22. New Hampshire, USA incident

                Arsenic concentrations are measured in 992
                drinking water samples collected from New
                Hampshire households and in randomly selected
                households, concentrations ranged from 0.0003
                to 180 g l−1, with water from domestic wells
                containing significantly more arsenic than water
                from municipal sources. Water samples from
                drilled bedrock wells have the highest arsenic
                concentrations, while samples from surficial wells
                has the lowest arsenic concentrations. The authors
                [336] suggested that much of the groundwater
                arsenic in New Hampshire was derived from
                weathering of bedrock materials and not from
                anthropogenic contamination. The spatial distribution
                of elevated arsenic concentrations (50
                g l−1) correlates with Late-Devonian Concordtype
                granite bedrock. Analysis of rock digests
                indicates arsenic concentrations up to 60 mg kg−1
                in pegmatites, with much lower values in surrounding
                schists and granites.

                4.1.23. Vietnam incident

                This is the first publication on arsenic contamination
                of the Red alluvial tract (Mekong delta
                region) in the city of Hanoi and in the surrounding
                rural districts [72]. The contamination levels
                vary from 1 to 3050 g l−1 in rural groundwater
                samples from private small-scale tube-wells with
                an average arsenic concentration of 159 g l−1. In
                a highly affected rural area, the groundwater used
                directly as drinking water has an average concentration
                of 430 g l−1. Analysis of raw groundwater
                pumped from the lower aquifer for the Hanoi
                water supply show arsenic levels of 240–320 g
                l−1 in three of eight treatment plants and 37–82
                g l−1 in another five plants. Aeration and sand
                filtration that are applied in the treatment plants
                for iron removal lowers the arsenic concentrations
                to levels of 25–91 g l−1, but 50% remains above
                the Vietnamese Standard of 50 g l−1. The arsenic
                in the sediments may be associated with iron
                oxyhydroxides and releases to the groundwater by
                reductive dissolution of iron. The high arsenic
                concentrations found in the tube-wells (48%
                above 50 g l−1 and 20% above 150 g l−1)
                indicate that several million people consuming
                untreated groundwater may be at a considerable
                risk of CAP. No people were found in these
                affected regions with symptoms of chronic arsenic

                4.2. Arsenic contamination from industrial sources

                4.2.1. Ronphibun, Thailand incident

                In 1987, the skin manifestation of CAP was
                first diagnosed among the residents of Ronphibun
                district, Nakorn Srithammarat Province [337]. It
                is seen that 85% of all reported of CAP are from
                Ronphibun sub-district of Ronphibun district.
                Most cases are of relatively mild disease, with
                21.6%, however having very significant lesions
                [338]. Rophibun district has eight sub-districts
                and 65 villages with a population of 14,085. Three
                out of 14 villages of Ronphibun sub-district with
                19.9% of the population of the sub-district account
                for 60.9% of the cases. These villages use
                water with drains from the high-contaminated
                area of Suan Jun and Ronna Mountains. Their
                attack rate is 8.8 times, the rate in the remainder
                of the sub-district. This area has 0.1% arsenopyrite.

                Recently, Oshikawa et al. [339] reports the
                long-term changes in arsenical skin lesions among
                this population. At many sites, the arsenic content
                of water exceeds by 8–100 times the 0.05 mg l−1
                concentration, which is the accepted safety level
                set down by WHO for occasional exposure [15].

                4.2.2. Mindanao Island, Philippines incident

                Soon after the construction of a geothermal
                power plant on Mt. Apo started in January 1992,
                people living downstream along the Matingao and
                Marbol rivers which run through the construction
                site, complained of symptoms such as eruption,
                headache or stomach-ache. An environmental investigation
                carried out in August 1993, which
                revealed that river water downstream of the construction
                site contained 0.1 mg l−1 of arsenic and
                hair samples of some residents showed high concentrations
                of mercury and manganese as well as
                arsenic [340]. As a result, the construction of the
                geothermal power plant is suspected as the cause
                of arsenic contamination. In 1995, a medical survey
                of 39 residents who had rashes on their skin
                reveals that a few of them are suspected to be
                patients suffering from CAP [341].

                4.2.3. Nakajo, Japan incident

                Waste water from a factory producing arsenic
                sulfide contaminated nearby well water in Nakajo,
                Japan in 1960 [342,343]. In this place a very small
                number of people drank the well water, which was
                contaminated with arsenic (0.025–4.00 mg l−1).
                Melanosis, hyperkeratosis, cardiovascular disease,
                hepatopathy, haematologic abnormalities were
                observed among the residents of Nakajo.

                4.2.4. Toroku and Matsuo, Japan incident

                Toroku is a small mountain village to the north
                of Miyazaki prefecture with a population of
                about 300 where arsenious acid was produced by
                roasting arsenopyrite ore from 1920 to 1962 [344].
                Similarly, Matsuo is a small mountain village in
                the north of Miyazaki prefecture. Here, white
                arsenic was produced by calcinating arsenopyrite
                at very primitive stone-made furnaces for nearly
                half a century since about 1920. In this system
                about 10% or more of As2O3 was lost as fumes
                through the refining process. The arsenic-rich remains
                of calcinated ore were dumped into the
                river. Many mine workers and nearby residents
                died from acute and sub-acute arsenic poisoning.
                A 6-year follow-up study reveals a high prevalence
                of malignant neoplasms especially in respiratory
                tract, which was the main cause of death
                in the patient [345]. A total of 147 persons are
                examined in the study. Out of them, 125 are
                diagnosed as CAP. A total of 58 malignant skin
                tumors are noted out of 125 patients with skin
                lesions of CAP and out of these 58 malignant skin
                tumors, 51 occur on trunk and times. The appearance
                of multiple malignant tumors was noted in
                24 cases (58.5%), including 15 cases of double
                cancers. The phenomenon is noted in 14 cases
                (42.4%) among cases of malignant skin tumor.
                Multiple Bowen’s disease is found in 12 cases
                (37.5%). As of 1995, there were 153 patients in
                Toroku and 64 in Matsuo who are recognized by
                the government as suffering from CAP [346].

                4.2.5. Other incidents in Japan

                A severe cutaneous manifestations of CAP are
                detected in seven out of 28 male Japanese workers,
                who are exposed to arsenic in the form of lead
                arsenate and Ca3AsO4 in the manufacture of insecticides
                [347]. The lesions are symmetric punctuated
                palmo-planter hyperkeratosis and bronze

                A retrospecific cohort study of a Japanese population
                in between 1954 and 1959 used well water
                contaminated with arsenic from a dye factory.
                During the follow-up period until 1987, there
                were 18 deaths from cancer, of which seven from
                lung cancer and six in the high exposure group

                4.2.6. P.N. Mitra Lane, Behala, Calcutta, India

                Arsenic contamination episode in residential
                area of Behala, Calcutta during 1969–1989 is well
                known [68,92,349]. The concentration of arsenic
                in the tube-well water varies from 0.05 to 58 mg
                l−1. Chronic arsenic toxicity, resulting from
                household use of arsenic contaminated water occurs
                in 53 out of 79 members (67% of 17 families)
                residing near this factory area within age range
                1–69 years. Typical skin manifestations are found
                in all of them but pulmonary symptoms are
                present in 40% and neurological symptoms in 65%
                of cases. Hematomegaly (2–6 cm) is found in 80%
                of cases and splenomegaly (1.5–2.6 cm) in 35% of
                cases. A few died due to arsenicosis.

                4.2.7. Rajnandgaon district, Madhya Pradesh,
                India incident

                Arsenic contamination of groundwater in
                Koudikasa village of Rajnandgaon district, Madhya
                Pradesh-India with a population of 1.5 million
                was reported first on 1999 [350]. Most of the
                villagers of Koudikasa used water from a forest
                dug-well (0.52 mg As l−1) along with a PHED
                tube-well (0.88 mg As l−1). Out of the total
                number of adults (150 nos.) and children (58 nos.)
                examined at random, 42 and 9%, respectively,
                have arsenical skin lesions. The source of arsenic
                contamination is speculated to be due to percolation
                of gold and uranium mine’s tailings.

                4.2.8. Australia incident

                In Australia, old stocks of lead arsenate, that
                was used as pesticides prior to 1970 remained in
                sheds and caused chronic poisoning among the
                workers [351].

                4.2.9. Czechosloakia incident

                People living near a plant burning arsenic contaminated
                coal containing 900–1500 mg As kg−1
                was responsible for the episode [352].

                4.2.10. Toronto, Ontario, Canada incident

                Vegetation and soil samples collected in 1974 in
                the vicinities of two secondary lead smelters located
                in a large urban area near Toronto, Ontario,
                Canada showed arsenic concentrations over
                30 times higher than normal urban background
                levels of arsenic in unwashed plant foliage and
                200 times higher than normal soil which were
                found about 200 m away from the smelters. A
                large number of people were found suffering from
                arsenic toxicity in this region [353].


                • #9
                  Re: Woods Hole Scientists Link Influenza A (H1N1) Susceptibility to Arsenic Exposure

                  Arsenic round the world: a review
                  Badal Kumar Mandal, Kazuo T. Suzuki *
                  Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chiba Uniersity, Chiba 263 -8522, Japan
                  Received 7 December 2001; received in revised form 8 February 2002

                  4.2.11. Greece incident

                  Systematic sampling of soils and dusts in and
                  around the ancient lead mining and smelting site
                  at Lavrion, Greece, indicated extensive contamination
                  with arsenic as well as lead and had instigated
                  studies into possible health implications to
                  the local community [354]. Concentrations of arsenic
                  in garden soils and house dusts were ranged
                  up to 14,800 and 3800 mg kg−1, respectively.

                  4.2.12. Ghana incident

                  Arsenic in drinking water from streams, shallow
                  wells and boreholes in the Obuasi gold-mining
                  area of Ghana ranges from 0.002 to 0.175
                  mg l−1. The main source of pollution is due to
                  mining activities and oxidation of naturally occurring
                  sulfide minerals, predominantly arsenopyrite
                  (FeAsS). Some of the water samples have high
                  arsenite content. Soils are leached kaolinite–muscovite
                  laterites overlying saprolite [355]. It is reported
                  that in the saprolite, arsenopyrite appears
                  to have been replaced by secondary As- and Febearing
                  minerals, including scorodite
                  (FeAsO4·2H2O), arsenolite and arsenates [356].

                  4.2.13. USA incident

                  The serious incident of air pollution by arsenic
                  from copper smelters in the U.S. is recorded in
                  Anaconda, Montana [357,358] with the rate of
                  emissions of arsenic trioxide of 16,884 kg per day.
                  Although no atmospheric concentrations are in
                  record, edible plants contain arsenic trioxide up to
                  482 g g−1, causing serious health hazard surrounding
                  the area. Mortality from ischemic heart
                  disease is significantly increased among arsenic
                  exposed workers of this smelter [359]. The initial
                  1938–1963 mortality analysis of workers at the
                  copper smelter at Anaconda, Montana, demonstrated
                  a more than threefold excess respiratory
                  cancer ratio, with an excess risk as high as high as
                  eightfold among heavily exposed men who had
                  worked there 8 years or more [360]. A serious
                  incident of air pollution by arsenic also occurs in
                  a small Western town near a gold-smelter, USA
                  manufacturing 36 tons of arsenic trioxide per day
                  Some studies [362,363] involved a copper smelting
                  plant at Tacoma in the state of Washington
                  that produced As2O3 as a by-product. The plant
                  had an average employment of 904 during the
                  years 1944–1960 when a total of 229 deaths were
                  reported among active plant employees, 38 of the
                  death were classified as exposed to arsenic. Out of
                  these six died of cancer, including three cases of
                  cancer of the respiratory tract.
                  In literature [364], Perham was a town of 1900
                  situated on the agricultural area of western Minnesota,
                  USA and a core sample to a depth of 20
                  cm revealed 3000 parts per million (mg l−1) of
                  arsenic. The symptoms of sub-acute or chronic
                  arsenic intoxication were confirmed to the three
                  persons out of 13 with the highest intake.

                  4.2.14. British incident

                  In 1910 and 1943, a British plant manufactured
                  a sodium arsenite sheep dip [365,366]. The factory
                  was in a small county town within a specific birth
                  and death registration sub-district. Here 75 deaths
                  are reported among factory workers 22 (29%) due
                  to cancer.

                  4.2.15. Southern Rhodesia incident

                  There was excess lung cancer mortality among
                  southern Rhodesia miners of gold bearing ores
                  containing large amounts of arsenic [367].

                  4.2.16. Torreon, Mexico incident

                  In the city of Torreon, Mexico, Espinosa Gonzalez
                  [368] reported the presence of arsenic in
                  drinking water from a deep well range from 4 to
                  6 mg l−1. In Silesia, Mexico the concentration of
                  arsenic in spring water arose through leaching of
                  arsenic wastes from mining operations (coal
                  preparations wastes and fly ash from coal-fired
                  power plants) into spring water leading to contamination

                  4.2.17. Northern Sweden incident

                  At the Ronnskar smelter in northern Sweden,
                  ores with a high arsenic content were handled.
                  Women employed in the plant as well as those
                  who lived nearby deliver babies having significantly
                  lower weight than those delivered by
                  women who are not so exposed [231]. Among
                  those same women, the frequency of spontaneous
                  abortion is generally higher with closer proximity
                  of residence to the smelter [232]. Although residential
                  proximity to the Ronnskar smelter has no
                  effect on the incidence of congenital malforma
                  tions, pregnancies during which the mother had
                  worked at the smelter are significantly more apt to
                  babies with single or multiple malformations, particularly
                  urogenital malformations or hip-joint
                  dislocation [231].

                  4.2.18. Armadale, central Scotland incident

                  In Armadale, a town in central Scotland
                  [370,371] having population 7000, the standardized
                  mortality ratio (SMR) for respiratory cancer
                  are high and high sex-ratios of births were observed
                  during 1969–1973 which was due to arsenic
                  contamination from a steel foundry located
                  in that area. The arsenic concentrations in soil
                  samples in Armadale were higher (52–64 g g−1)
                  than those in the white burn soils.

                  4.2.19. Srednogorie, Bulgaria incident

                  Heavy air pollution as well as high arsenic
                  contamination of soil occur due to copper smelter
                  located in close vicinity to the Srednogorie [372]
                  with a population of 32,000 inhabitants and constituted
                  the largest metallurgical center in Bulgaria.
                  The smelter started operation in 1959 and
                  had been processing high arsenic containing
                  sulfide ores, mainly from Tjelopet ch causing contamination
                  of Topolnitza river water having arsenic
                  concentration of 0.75–1.5 mg l−1 during the
                  time period of 1987–1990. The aerial emission is
                  estimated at 50–100 tons per year. Exposure to
                  the general population is mostly by inhalation and
                  partly by ingestion of locally produced food products,
                  like vegetables. Several health hazards are
                  observed around the area of the exposed population
                  with high arsenic content in hair, nails and


                  • #10
                    Re: Woods Hole Scientists Link Influenza A (H1N1) Susceptibility to Arsenic Exposure

                    Add to this discussion here.


                    Last edited by sharon sanders; July 1, 2009, 02:26 PM. Reason: changed link
                    Please do not ask me for medical advice, I am not a medical doctor.

                    Avatar is a painting by Alan Pollack, titled, "Plague". I'm sure it was an accident that the plague girl happened to look almost like my twin.
                    Thank you,
                    Shannon Bennett