[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The relationship between arsenic (As) and selenium (Se) in the human body is poorly understood. We have investi-gated the concentrations of urinary As and Se in three ethnic groups (n = 63) in the United Kingdom and show that there is a positive correlation (r = 0.62, p < 0.001) between total concentrations of As and Se and that the ratio of these two elements is stable, with a mean value (±SD) of 0.7 ± 0.4. Furthermore, concentrations of individual arsenic species methylarsonate (MA), dimethylarsinate (DMA) and arsenobetaine (AB) in the urine samples show a positive correlation with total Se (As(III) and As(V) were not detected). The intra-individual variation of the As:Se ratio also remains stable over time, as determined by monitoring a volunteer over a period of one year, and deviates only after recent seafood consumption. It appears that the ratio is also stable across diverse populations across different cultures and continents, evident from our calculation of As:Se ratio from concentrations of these elements found in urine samples from different populations published in the literature. Our study involved analysis of 63 urine samples from three ethnic groups (White Caucasian n = 20, Asian n = 21 and Somali n = 22), 58 urine samples from 29 Ramadan fasting volunteers and 12 from one volunteer whose urine samples were collected over a period of one year. All the participants completed a lifestyle questionnaire and were asked to refrain from eating seafood or fish for three days prior to collection of the sample. Total As and Se in urine were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). As species (AB, DMA, MA, As(III), As(V)) were determined by using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) combined with ICP-MS. Mean ± SD As:Se ratios of 0.8 ± 0.4, 0.7 ± 0.4, 0.4 ± 0.2, 0.7 ± 0.3 and 1.2 ± 0.3 were obtained for the Asian, White Caucasian, Somali, fasting, and one volunteer respectively, giving an overall mean of 0.7 ± 0.4 (SD). It is noteworthy, that when comparing ethnic differences, the Somali group shows a statistically significant lower As:Se ratio (0.4 ± 0.2, p < 0.05) compared to Asian and White Caucasian groups; this is ascribed to lower urinary As concentrations in this group. The study over one year with a single volunteer revealed that recent (within 3 days) seafood consumption results in a significantly different (p < 0.05) As:Se ratio (4.0). We have calculated from the literature the value of As:Se for populations, exposed to As through drinking water, can range from 2.0–9.6. Based on our own work and the values we calculated from other studies we suggest that the baseline range for mean As:Se ratio is 0.4–1.2, provided that the urine samples
Magnetic Resonance Imaging 08/2013; 23233(2):225. · 2.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elevated exposure to arsenic has been suggested to be associated with atherosclerosis leading to cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, biochemical events underlying the arsenic-induced atherosclerosis have not yet been fully documented. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations of circulating molecules involved in atherosclerosis with arsenic exposure in the individuals exposed to arsenic in Bangladesh. A total of 324 study subjects, 218 from arsenic-endemic areas and 106 from non-endemic area in Bangladesh were recruited. Drinking water, hair, nail and blood samples were collected from the study subjects for analysis. Total cholesterol (TC), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) levels were lower in arsenic-endemic subjects than those of non-endemic subjects. Oxidized low density lipoprotein (Ox-LDL), C-reactive protein (CRP), intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) levels were significantly higher in arsenic-endemic subjects than those of non-endemic subjects. All these circulating molecules showed significant correlations with arsenic exposure (water, hair and nail arsenic concentrations) and all these relations were significant before and after adjusting for relevant covariates. Among the circulating molecules tested in this study, HDL, Ox-LDL and CRP showed dose-response relationships with arsenic exposure. Ox-LDL/HDL ratios were increased with the increasing concentrations of arsenic in the water, hair and nails. Furthermore, non-HDL cholesterol and TC/HDL ratios were significantly correlated with arsenic exposure before and after adjusting for relevant covariates. Thus all the observed associations may be the major features of arsenic exposure related atherosclerosis leading to CVD.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rice can easily accumulate arsenic (As) into its grain and is known to be the highest As-containing cereal. In addition, the As burden in rice may increase during its processing (such as when cooking using As-polluted water). The health risk posed by the presence of As in cooked rice depends on its release from the matrix along the digestive system (bioaccessibility). Two types of white polished long-grain rice, namely, nonparboiled and parboiled (total As: 202 and 190 μg As kg(-1) , respectively), were cooked in excess of water with different levels of As (0, 10, 47, 222, and 450 μg As L(-1) ). The bioaccessibility of As from these cooked rice batches was evaluated with an in vitro dynamic digestion process. Rice cooked with water containing 0 and 10 μg As L(-1) showed lower As concentrations than the raw (uncooked) rice. However, cooking water with relatively high As content (≥47 μg As L(-1) ) significantly increased the As concentration in the cooked rice up to 8- and 9-fold for the nonparboiled and parboiled rice, respectively. Parboiled rice, which is most widely consumed in South Asia, showed a higher percentage of As bioaccessibility (59% to 99%) than nonparboiled rice (36% to 69%) and most of the As bioaccessible in the cooked rice (80% to 99%) was released easily during the first 2 h of digestion. The estimation of the As intake through cooked rice based on the As bioaccessibility highlights that a few grams of cooked rice (less than 25 g dry weight per day) cooked with highly As contaminated water is equivalent to the amount of As from 2 L water containing the maximum permissible limit (10 μg As L(-1) ). Practical Application: Studies on As bioaccessibility are needed for determining human As intake from rice for use in accurate risk assessments to establish updated legislation regarding maximum level of As in food. High As bioaccessibility from parboiled rice (consumed by the majority of the people in South Asia), and the findings of high As levels in discarded rice gruel (fed to livestock), has implications for human and animal health.
Journal of Food Science 10/2012; · 1.78 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human exposure to cadmium (Cd) is associated with various diseases and high levels of Cd have been detected in Bangladeshi population warranting further research to identify the source of this exposure. In this study, Cd levels in 327 and 94 samples of Bangladeshi food and non-food samples, respectively, were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. This is the largest number of Bangladeshi food and nonfood samples investigated for their Cd content. High Cd levels were detected in leafy vegetables (mean 31 [SD 29]μg/kg). Of these vegetables, lal shak (Amaranthus tricolor) contained the highest Cd level (303 μg/kg [wet weight]; mean 100.5 [SD 95]μg/kg). Bangladeshi rice also showed significant concentration of Cd (mean 37.2 [SD 30]μg/kg). Of particular concern is the very high level of Cd detected in some puffed rice, which we attribute to the illegal practice of using urea for whitening the puffed rice. Tobacco leaves, which are commonly consumed during betel quid chewing by Bangladeshis, contain significant levels of Cd (mean 95 [SD 87]μg/kg). The total daily intake (TDI) of Cd from foods for Bangladeshis was estimated to be 34.55 μg/d. This is rather high when compared to the TDI of Cd for other populations. Our analysis reveals that this is mainly due to the very high intake of rice and vegetables, and lower consumption of animal products (which are low in Cd), by the Bangladeshis. We also determined the provisional maximum tolerable daily intake and target hazard quotients values for Cd. Clearly a more balanced diet is necessary to reduce the Cd intake in the Bangladeshi population, especially by reducing the very high intake of rice and certain leafy vegetables. Food manufacturing and agricultural practices needs to be altered to reduce the entry of Cd into the food chain. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Exposure to high levels of Cd can be harmful to human health and this study provides a comprehensive analysis of Cd levels in a variety of food items from Bangladesh. The findings are of particular importance to consumers of Bangladeshi foods in both Bangladesh and in other countries. Data obtained will be valuable resources for food safety and regulatory bodies as our study suggests entry of Cd in foods through use of illegal chemicals in food manufacturing processes.
Journal of Food Science 11/2011; 77(1):T26-33. · 1.78 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rice is elevated in arsenic (As) compared to other staple grains. The Bangladeshi community living in the United Kingdom (UK) has a ca. 30-fold higher consumption of rice than white Caucasians. In order to assess the impact of this difference in rice consumption, urinary arsenicals of 49 volunteers in the UK (Bangladeshi n = 37; white Caucasians n = 12) were monitored along with dietary habits. Total urinary arsenic (As(t)) and speciation analysis for dimethylarsinic acid (DMA), monomethylarsonic acid (MA) and inorganic arsenic (iAs) was conducted. Although no significant difference was found for As(t) (median: Bangladeshis 28.4 µg L(-1)) and white Caucasians (20.6 µg L(-1)), the sum of medians of DMA, MA and iAs for the Bangladeshi group was found to be over 3-fold higher (17.9 µg L(-1)) than for the Caucasians (3.50 µg L(-1)). Urinary DMA was significantly higher (p < 0.001) in the UK Bangladeshis (median: 16.9 µg DMA L(-1)) than in the white Caucasians (3.16 µg DMA L(-1)) as well as iAs (p < 0.001) with a median of 0.630 µg iAs L(-1) for Bangladeshi and 0.250 µg iAs L(-1) for Caucasians. Cationic compounds were significantly lower in the Bangladeshis (2.93 µg L(-1)) than in Caucasians (14.9 µg L(-1)). The higher DMA and iAs levels in the Bangladeshis are mainly the result of higher rice consumption: arsenic is speciated in rice as both iAs and DMA, and iAs can be metabolized, through MA, to DMA by humans. This study shows that a higher dietary intake of DMA alters the DMA/MA ratio in urine. Consequently, DMA/MA ratio as an indication of methylation capacity in populations consuming large quantities of rice should be applied with caution since variation in the quantity and type of rice eaten may alter this ratio.
Journal of Environmental Monitoring 02/2011; 13(2):257-65. · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A relationship between betel quid chewing in Bangladeshi populations and the development of skin lesions and tremor has been previously reported, for people exposed to high levels of arsenic (As) through drinking contaminated groundwater. Exposure to manganese (Mn) is also known to induce neurotoxicity and levels of Mn in Bangladeshi groundwater are also high. The present study evaluates betel quid chewing as an overlooked source of Mn exposure in a Bangladeshi population.
Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) was used to determine (1) urinary Mn levels for 15 chewers and 22 non-chewers from the ethnic Bangladeshi community in the United Kingdom, and (2) Mn levels in betel quids, its individual components and other Bangladeshi foods.
Betel quid chewers displayed a significantly higher (P = 0.009) mean Mn concentration in urine (1.93 μg L(-1)) compared to non-chewers (0.62 μg L(-1)). High levels of Mn were detected in Piper betel leaves with an overall average of 135 mg kg(-1) (range 26 -518 mg kg(-1)). The mean concentration of Mn in betel quid was 41 mg kg(-1) (SD 27) and the daily intake of Mn in the Bangladeshi population was estimated to be 20.3 mg/day. Chewing six betel quids could contribute up to 18% of the maximum recommended daily intake of Mn.
We have demonstrated that Mn in betel quids is an overlooked source of exposure to Mn in humans. Chewers display a 3.1 fold increased urinary Mn concentration compared to non-chewers. The practice of betel quid chewing contributes a high proportion of the maximum recommended daily intake of Mn, which could make chewers in Bangladesh more vulnerable to Mn neurotoxicity.
BMC Public Health 02/2011; 11:85. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies have reported increased skin lesions in betel quid (a mixture of Piper betel leaves, areca nut, tobacco/flavoured tobacco, lime) chewers compared to non-chewers, exposed to arsenic (As) contaminated drinking water in Bangladesh and India. The current study has determined As, cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) levels of betel quids and its components using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The highest concentrations of As were found in slaked lime (4.56 mg kg(-1)) followed by Piper betel leaves (0.406 mg kg(-1)) and flavoured tobacco (zarda) (0.285 mg kg(-1)), with a mean concentrations of As in betel quids of 0.035 mg kg(-1) (SD 0.02 mg kg(-1)). Mean concentrations of Cd and Pb in ordinary quids were 0.028 (SD 0.07 mg kg(-1)) and 0.423 (SD 1.4 mg kg(-1)), respectively. We estimated that a daily intake of 6 betel quids could contribute 1.2, 1.9 and 8.5% of the provisional maximum tolerable daily intake (PMDTI) for As, Cd and Pb, respectively. Since betel quid chewing is most prevalent among women, our finding raises concern that women chewers - especially pregnant chewers - may be harming their health and that of their unborn babies through increased exposure to a mixture of toxic elements (As, Cd and Pb).
Journal of hazardous materials 02/2011; 190(1-3):69-74. · 4.14 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Measurement of the different physicochemical forms of metals and metalloids is a necessary pre-requisite for the detailed understanding of an element's interaction with environmental and biological systems. Such chemical speciation data is important in a range of areas, including toxicology, ecotoxicology, biogeochemistry, food safety and nutrition. This chapter considers developments in the speciation analysis of organometallic compounds (OMCs), focusing on those of As, Hg, Se and Sn. Typically, organometallic analysis requires a chromatographic separation prior to analyte detection and gas chromatography (GC), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) or capillary electrophoresis (CE) can serve this purpose. Following separation, detection is achieved using element specific detectors (ESDs) such as inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), atomic fluorescence spectrometry (AFS), atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) or atmospheric pressure ionization mass spectrometry (API-MS). Techniques employing a vapor generation (VG) stage prior to detection are also discussed. Complementary structural and quantitative data may be acquired through the combination of elemental and molecular mass spectrometry. The advantages and disadvantages of the various analytical systems are discussed, together with issues related to quantification and quality management.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Geophagy or earth-eating is common amongst some Bangladeshi women, especially those who are pregnant, both in Bangladesh and in the United Kingdom. A large proportion of the population in Bangladesh is already exposed to high concentrations of arsenic (As) and other toxic elements from drinking contaminated groundwater. Additional exposure to As and other toxic elements from non-food sources has not been adequately addressed and here we present the first study to monitor As levels in baked clay (known as sikor).
Sikor samples originating from Bangladesh were digested using a microwave digester and analysed for their As, Pb, Cd, Mn, Fe and Zn levels using ICP-MS. Detailed As speciation analysis was performed using HPLC-ICP-MS.
Of particular concern were the levels of As (3.8-13.1 mg kg(-1)), Cd (0.09-0.4 mg kg(-1)) and Pb (21-26.7 mg kg(-1)) present in the sikor samples and their possible impact on human health. Speciation analysis revealed that sikor samples contained mainly inorganic As. Modest consumption of 50 g of sikor is equivalent to ingesting 370 μg of As and 1235 μg of Pb per day, based on median concentration values. This level of sikor consumption exceeds the permitted maximum tolerable daily intake (PMTDI) of inorganic As by almost 2-fold.
We conclude that sikor can be a significant source of As, Cd and Pb exposure for the Bangladeshi population consuming large quantities of this material. Of particular concern in this regard is geophagy practiced by pregnant women concurrently exposed to As contaminated drinking water. Future studies needs to evaluate the bioavailability of As and other elements from sikor and their impact on human health.
Environmental Health 01/2010; 9:79. · 2.71 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rice has been demonstrated to be one of the major contributors to inorganic arsenic (i-As) intake in humans. However, little is known about rice products as additional source of i-As exposure. In this study, misos, syrups and amazake (a fermented sweet rice drink) produced from rice, barley and millet were analysed for total arsenic (t-As) and a subset of samples were also analyzed for As speciation. Rice based products displayed a higher i-As content than those derived from barley and millet. Most of the t-As in the rice products studied was inorganic (63-83%), the remainder being dimethylarsinic acid. Those who regularly consume rice drinks and condiments, such as the Japanese population and those who follow health conscious diets based on the Japanese cuisine, could reach up to 23% of the World Health Organization's Provisional Tolerable Daily Intake of i-As, by only consuming these kinds of products. This study provides a wide appreciation of how i-As derived from rice based products enters the human diet and how this may be of concern to populations who are already exposed to high levels of i-As through consumption of foods such as rice and seaweed.
Journal of Environmental Monitoring 11/2009; 11(11):1930-4. · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate possible source of nutrients for bacterial growth within polyurethane (PU) foam of used cot mattresses as determinants of bacterial population density.
Used infant mattresses (n = 30) were analysed for bacteria capable of degrading colloidal PU and for aqueous soluble chemical components (aromatic amines, ammonium ions, phosphates and protein). Mattress type (waterproof cover vs exposed PU foam at the infant-head region), mattress age and previous use by another child were evaluated as factors that could influence the measured parameters. The levels of protein extracted from PU foam were (i) significantly (P = 0.0019) higher for mattresses lacking a waterproof cover at the infant-head region and (ii) positively correlated with both culturable bacterial population densities of the PU foams and extent of growth of Staphylococcus aureus on aqueous leachates. No statistically significant (P > 0.05) associations between other measured parameters and mattress type/use factors were identified.
Infant use of cot mattresses with exposed PU foam leads to accumulation of proteins within the PU, which can promote bacterial growth.
The study provides a mechanistic explanation for increased levels of bacteria associated with exposed PU of cot mattresses. In the context of the common bacterial toxins hypothesis for the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), this could explain the lowered risk of SIDS associated with use of a waterproof cover above the mattress.
Journal of Applied Microbiology 03/2008; 104(2):526-33. · 2.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allergen-induced anaphylaxis has been suggested as a possible etiology for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Some of the measures recommended for reducing the risk of allergen exposure also are recommended for reducing the risk of SIDS. The purpose of this study is to evaluate possible associations between dust-mite allergen (der p 1) levels within cot (crib) mattresses and established cot mattress risk factors for SIDS. Dust from polyurethane foam was extracted from two regions of used cot mattresses donated by 28 households in Leicester (United Kingdom) and der p 1 allergen levels estimated using a two-site monoclonal antibody system. Infant and cot environment-related factors were determined via parental questionnaire. For the infants' head region of the mattresses, the following associations were independently significant following multivariate analysis: quantity of dust extracted, with older mattresses (p = 0.014); high allergen concentrations (der p 1 per mg dust), with high frequency of minor ailments (p < 0.001) and older infants (p = 0.044); and high total der p 1 content, with high frequency of minor ailments (p = 0.014). There were no independently significant associations between levels of der p 1 in polyurethane foam and the established cot mattress risk factors for SIDS. Although der p 1 accumulates within polyurethane foam of cot mattresses with use over time, this does not provide a valid mechanistic explanation for the established cot mattress-related risk factors for SIDS. There is an association between der p 1 levels of cot mattress polyurethane foam and frequency of minor ailments; additional research is required to establish cause and effect.
Allergy and Asthma Proceedings 01/2008; 29(1):45-50. · 2.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A sensitive methodology for PCR detection of Staphylococcus aureus or Bordetella pertussis DNA within cot mattress polyurethane foam was developed. The assay's applicability was evaluated on polyurethane foam from used cot mattresses. S. aureus DNA was detected in 42% of mattresses of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) victims and 29% of comparison group (no death) mattresses tested. B. pertussis DNA was detected in 50% of SIDS mattresses and 27% of comparison group mattresses. There was no significant statistical association between SIDS cases and the presence of S. aureus or B. pertussis DNA in cot mattress polyurethane.
Japanese journal of infectious diseases 03/2007; 60(1):19-22. · 1.51 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The construction and evaluation of a low cost, easily demountable interface to couple capillary gas chromatography to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry detection is described. Using this interface, the capillary column can be maintained at a high temperature through to the tip of the torch injector using a transfer line heated by a combination of hot argon and electrical resistance. The interface is suitable for analytes with boiling points up to 230°C, allowing for the analysis of low and high boiling analytes in a single injection. The system was evaluated by the determination of the butyltin species in a marine sediment CRM using conventional calibration with tripropyltin dichloride as the internal standard and the measurement of methylmercury in a tuna fish CRM via species‐specific isotope dilution analysis. Detailed information on the design and construction of the interface are included to facilitate its construction and use by other workers.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Millions of people in some of the poorest regions of the world are exposed to high levels of arsenic through drinking contaminated water. It has been reported that development of cancer caused by arsenic exposure in such populations is dependent on dietary and nutritional factors which can modulate arsenic metabolism. Many people in arsenic exposed regions of Bangladesh and India practice fasting for at least one month every year when they refrain from consumption of food and fluid during daylight hours. How such practices may modulate arsenic metabolism has not been previously investigated. This study investigated this issue by determining total arsenic and its species in urine samples from a group of 29 unexposed volunteers at the beginning of the fasting and at the end of approximately 12 h of fasting period. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with ICP-MS was used to measure the total arsenic and arsenic speciation in the urine samples, respectively. The mean total levels of arsenic at the beginning of fasting (18.3 microg g(-1) creatinine) and at the end of approximately 12 h of fasting (17.7 microg g(-1) creatinine) did not differ significantly (p > 0.05). However, the percentages of urinary arsenic as the methylated arsenic species methylarsonate (MA) were found to be significantly different (p < 0.05) and this species was observed more frequently at the end of fasting, although its overall concentration was similar. There were no significant differences (p > 0.05) in both the concentrations and percentages of other urinary arsenic species detected, namely arsenobetaine (AB) and dimethylarsinate (DMA). Arsenite (As(III)) and arsenate (As(V)) were also analyzed, but were not detected. We conclude that fasting for a period of 12 h results in a significant increase in the percentage of urinary arsenic as MA, and its frequency of detection in the volunteers at the end of the fasting period is almost nine fold higher. This suggests that metabolism of arsenic is altered by fasting.
Journal of Environmental Monitoring 01/2007; 9(1):98-103. · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Very little is known about arsenic (As) metabolism in healthy populations that are not exposed to high concentrations of As in their food or water. Here we present a study with healthy volunteers from three different ethnic groups, residing in Leicester, UK, which reveals statistically significant differences in the levels of total As in urine and fingernail samples. Urine (n = 63), hair (n = 36) and fingernail (n = 36) samples from Asians, Somali Black-Africans and Whites were analysed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy (GF-AAS). The results clearly show that the total concentrations of As in urine and fingernail samples of a Somali Black-African population (urine 7.2 microg/g creatinine; fingernails 723.1 microg/kg) are significantly (P < 0.05) different from the Asian (urine 24.5 microg/g creatinine; fingernails 153.9 microg/kg) and White groups (urine 20.9 microg/g creatinine; fingernails 177.0 microg/kg). The chemical speciation of As in the urine of the three groups was also measured using high performance liquid chromatography coupled to ICP-MS. This showed that the proportion of the total urinary As present as dimethylarsenate (DMA) was higher for the Somali Black-African group (50%) compared to the Asians (16%) and Whites (22%). However, there was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in the level of As in the hair samples from these three groups; Somali Black-Africans (116.0 microg/kg), Asians (117.4 microg/kg) and Whites (141.2 microg/kg). Significantly different levels of total As in fingernail and urine and a higher percentage of urinary DMA in the Somali Black-Africans are suggestive of a different pattern of As metabolism in this ethnic group.
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 11/2006; 216(1):122-30. · 3.98 Impact Factor