[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Millions of people in Bangladesh, India, Taiwan, and Chile are consuming high concentration of arsenic through drinking water, and thousands of them have already developed chronic arsenic poisoning. There is no specific treatment. Some authors suggest the use of vitamins and minerals for more than 6 months. The present placebo-controlled double-blind study was conducted to evaluate effectiveness of spirulina extract plus zinc in the treatment of chronic arsenic poisoning.
Forty-one patients of chronic arsenic poisoning were randomly treated orally by either placebo (17 patients) or spirulina extract (250 mg) plus zinc (2 mg) (24 patients) twice daily for 16 weeks. Each patient was supplied with arsenic-safe drinking water by installing a locally made water filter at household level. Effectiveness of spirulina extract plus zinc was evaluated by comparing changes in skin manifestations (clinical scores), arsenic contents in urine and hair, between the placebo- and spirulina extract plus zinc-treated groups.
The concentrations of total arsenic in water (without filtration) of placebo- and spirulina extract plus zinc-treated groups were 150.1 +/- 18.3 and 161.7 +/- 23.9 microg/l, respectively. Intake of these high concentrations of arsenic lead to increased excretion of arsenic in urine (72.1 +/- 14.5 microg/l in placebo-treated group and 78.4 +/- 19.1 microg/l in spirulina plus zinc-treated group). After 2 weeks of using filtered water, there were significant reduction of both arsenic intake through water and urinary arsenic excretion (8.3 +/- 3.6 microg/l and 18.4 +/- 7.3 microg/l in placebo group; 9.7 +/- 5.4 microg/l and 21.6 +/- 5.8 microg/l) in spirulina extract plus zinc-treated group. There was a sharp increase in urinary excretion of arsenic (138 +/- 43.6 microg/l) at 4 weeks following spirulina plus zinc administration and the effect was continued for another 2 weeks. Spirulina extract plus zinc removed 47.1% arsenic from scalp hair. Spirulina extract had no major adverse effect that required physician's attention. The clinical scores (median) for melanosis before and after treatment with placebo was not statistically significant (p > 0.05), whereas in spirulina extract plus zinc-treated group it was statistically significant (p < 0.01). In cases of keratosis, the median clinical scores before and after treatment was not statistically significant (p > 0.05) in placebo-treated group. In spirulina extract plus zinc-treated group, the clinical scores for keratosis before and after treatment was statistically significant (p < 0.05).
Results show that spirulina extract (250 mg) plus zinc (2 mg) twice daily for 16 weeks may be useful for the treatment of chronic arsenic poisoning with melanosis and keratosis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toxic concentration of arsenic (400 microg/kg body weight/day) was administered orally for 8 weeks to both iron-supplemented and iron-deficient rats. The results showed greater amount of arsenic in both the duodenum and liver of iron-deficient rats, compared to iron-supplemented ones. Duodenum containing high concentration of arsenic in iron-deficient rats showed significant reduction of ferrireductase (the enzyme responsible for the conversion of ferric iron to ferrous one) activity. Our results suggest that anemic rats are more prone to develop arsenic poisoning following chronic ingestion of high content of arsenic.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) removes arsenic from arsenic-contaminated drinking water. This effect depends on several factors, such as the amount of water hyacinth, amount of arsenic present in the water, duration of exposure, and presence of sunlight and air. On the basis of the present study, the authors suggest that water hyacinth is useful for making arsenic-contaminated drinking water totally arsenic free. Water hyacinth provides a natural means of removing arsenic from drinking water at the household level without monetary cost.
Archives of Environmental Health An International Journal 01/2002; 57(6):516-8.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Foodstuffs from arsenic-exposed areas in Bangladesh may contain high concentration of total arsenic but their speciations are not known. About 600 samples of raw rice and vegetables were collected from two arsenic-exposed Upazillas. Speciation of arsenic was done using column chromatography and hydride generator atomic absorption spectrometer. The mean concentrations of inorganic arsenic, monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) and dimethyl- arsinic acid (DMA) in raw rice were 296.3, 222.5 and 363.4 μg/kg respectively. High concentrations of inorganic arsenic (range 270- 377 μg/kg) were found in arum lati, arum leaf, arum root and snake gourd. Low concentrations of inorganic arsenic (range 0-62 μg/kg) were present in potato, pumpkin, amaranth leaf and kalmi leaf. Vegetables contain 27.9% inorganic arsenic, 21.5% MMA and 50.6% DMA. The average daily intake of arsenic by an adult was 1017.9 μg of which 54.3% was from the raw rice and vegetables. The remaining 45.7% of arsenic intake was from drinking water. Considering the total intake of inorganic arsenic, raw rice and vegetables contributed only 27.4%. This study suggests that foodstuffs contributed a higher concentration of arsenic intake than drinking water in two arsenic-exposed areas in Bangladesh.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the effectiveness of topical salicylic acid in different concentrations (5, 10, 20 and 30%) for the management of kera- tosis, a total of 150 arsenicosis patients having different caregories (mild, moderate and severe forms) of keratosis were included in this study. After 1 month of using ointment, the improvement was found in 72.5% of cases of mild keratosis, 57.5% in moderate keratosis and only 20.0% in severe keratosis. On the contrary, after 3 months of application of ointment higher improvement was found among mild and moderate type of keratosis (92.5% and 77.5%, respec- tively) while in severe cases the improvement was only 45.0%. After 6 months of using salicylic acid ointment, almost all the mild
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Physical and mental development of 157 children (age 1-5 years) from two arsenic exposed areas were studied using mothers inter- view and Denver Development Screening Test. The concentration of arsenic in tube well water, urine of mother and children were estimated using atomic absorption spectrometry. According to standard pediatric development milestone 8.9% were tardy in their development, and 17.8% with abnormal mental development. Arsenic in drinking water found 66.8% of study population. In urine sample of mother 30.6% had arsenic between 1-100 μg/l and 42% had arsenic >100 μg/l. Urine sample of 35.67% children had arsenic level between 1-100 μg/l and 26% had arsenic level >100 μg/l. Mean excreted arsenic concentration in urine of children was more than 3 times higher than the mean urine arsenic concentration of
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One thousand samples of different foodstuffs were collected from two Upazillas of Bangladesh for the estimation of arsenic using atomic absorption spectrometer with hydride generator. The mean (± SD) concentration of arsenic in raw rice was 878.5 ± 379.3 μg/kg. Among the foodstuffs studied, lowest concentration of arsenic (61.3 ± 63.7 μg/kg) was found in the leaves of Convolvus arvensis (local name- kalmi leaf). Highest concentration of arsenic was found in arum leaf and root (1181.1 ± 658.9 μg/kg and 1153.9 ± 479.7 μg/kg). Although the mean amounts of arsenic in tube well water and soil were several fold higher in Shahrasti Upazilla (Chadpur District) in comparison to Bashail Upazilla (Tangail District), the amounts of arsenic in different foodstuffs were not increased significantly except in arum root. This study suggests that rice as well as vegetables were contaminated with high concentra- tion of arsenic and their concentration was not related with increased concentration of arsenic in soil.