Arsenic speciation in the urine and hair of individuals exposed to airborne arsenic through coal-burning in Guizhou, PR China

Research Center for Environmental Risk, National Institute for Environmental Studies, 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, 305-8506, Ibaraki, Japan.
Toxicology Letters (Impact Factor: 3.26). 02/2003; 137(1-2):35-48. DOI: 10.1016/S0378-4274(02)00379-X
Source: PubMed


The extent of exposure of residents of Changqing (Guizhou, PR China) to arsenic through coal-burning was investigated. Despite the low coal-arsenic content (56.3+/-42.5 mg As kg(-1)) when compared with coals collected at different location and times from the same province, more than 30% of the study subjects have shown symptoms of arsenicosis. Coal, urine, hair, and water samples were collected in mid-September 2001 and analysed for arsenic. The average urinary and hair-arsenic concentrations in the exposed subjects were 71.4+/-37.1 microg As g(-1) creatinine (control 41.6+/-12.1) and 7.99+/-8.16 mg kg(-1), respectively. A positive correlation between the hair and urinary-arsenic concentration (R(2)=0.601) was found. There was no significant difference between females and males for both urinary and hair-arsenic concentrations. Females were found to have a higher dimethylarsinic acid but lower percentages of inorganic arsenic and monomethylarsonic acid in their urine than males.

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Available from: Amjad Shraim
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    • "Arsenic (As) is a highly toxic substance at high, acute exposures, but is also well-known for its negative health outcomes under chronic, low-to-mid-level exposure (Ratnaike 2003, Bräuner et al 2014, Das et al 2014, James et al 2014). Drinking water is generally the primary source of exposure to arsenic in areas with elevated arsenic in groundwater or surface water, although other exposure sources include food, soil and air (Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment 1997, Schoof et al 1999, Shraim et al 2003). The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended a maximum contaminant limit (MCL) of As in drinking water of 10 μg l −1 (World Health Organization (WHO) 2008). "
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    • "As (Li et al., 2012). In practice, however, adverse drainage from coal-mine tips is not as critical an environmental problem as from coal combustion and its products (e.g., Shraim et al., 2003; Ruhl et al., 2009). This is likely a function of the capacity of organic compounds and iron oxyhydroxides contained within the coal to complex contaminants and thus mitigate toxicity (Dang et al., 2002). "
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    • "As described below, the specific mechanism of arsenic methylation has yet to be clarified and remains under debate. Most of the arsenic metabolites including iAs V , iAs III , MMA V , and DMA V are excreted in the urine, with DMA V being the most abundantly detected urinary metabolite (Shraim et al. 2003). Intracellular iAs III and MMA III appear to inhibit AS3MT, especially the second methylation activity (from MMA to DMA). "
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