Cancer risks from arsenic in drinking water

A. H. Smith, C. Hopenhayn-Rich, M. N. Bates, H. M. Goeden, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, H. M. Duggan, R. Wood, M. J. Kosnett, M. T. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Ingestion of arsenic, both from water supplies and medicinal preparations, is known to cause skin cancer. The evidence assessed here indicates that arsenic can also cause liver, lung, kidney, and bladder cancer and that the population cancer risks due to arsenic in U.S. water supplies may be comparable to those from environmental tobacco smoke and radon in homes. Large population studies in an area of Taiwan with high arsenic levels in well water (170-800 μg/L) were used to establish dose-response relationships between cancer risks and the concentration of inorganic arsenic naturally present in water supplies. It was estimated that at the current EPA standard of 50 μg/L, the lifetime risk of dying from cancer of the liver, lung, kidney, or bladder from drinking 1 L/day of water could be as high as 13 per 1000 persons. It has been estimated that more than 350,000 people in the United States may be supplied with water containing more than 50 μg/L arsenic, and more than 2.5 million people may be supplied with water with levels above 25 μg/L. For average arsenic levels and water consumption patterns in the United States, the risk estimate was around 1/1000. Although further research is needed to validate these findings, measures to reduce arsenic levels in water supplies should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-267
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume97
StatePublished - 1992

Fingerprint

Arsenic
Drinking Water
arsenic
drinking water
Water Supply
Water supply
Neoplasms
water supply
Water
cancer
Liver Neoplasms
Liver
Drinking
Lung Neoplasms
Radon
Tobacco
cancer risk
Kidney Neoplasms
dose-response relationship
Skin Neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Smith, A. H., Hopenhayn-Rich, C., Bates, M. N., Goeden, H. M., Hertz-Picciotto, I., Duggan, H. M., ... Smith, M. T. (1992). Cancer risks from arsenic in drinking water. Environmental Health Perspectives, 97, 259-267.

Cancer risks from arsenic in drinking water. / Smith, A. H.; Hopenhayn-Rich, C.; Bates, M. N.; Goeden, H. M.; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva; Duggan, H. M.; Wood, R.; Kosnett, M. J.; Smith, M. T.

In: Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 97, 1992, p. 259-267.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Smith, AH, Hopenhayn-Rich, C, Bates, MN, Goeden, HM, Hertz-Picciotto, I, Duggan, HM, Wood, R, Kosnett, MJ & Smith, MT 1992, 'Cancer risks from arsenic in drinking water', Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 97, pp. 259-267.
Smith AH, Hopenhayn-Rich C, Bates MN, Goeden HM, Hertz-Picciotto I, Duggan HM et al. Cancer risks from arsenic in drinking water. Environmental Health Perspectives. 1992;97:259-267.
Smith, A. H. ; Hopenhayn-Rich, C. ; Bates, M. N. ; Goeden, H. M. ; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva ; Duggan, H. M. ; Wood, R. ; Kosnett, M. J. ; Smith, M. T. / Cancer risks from arsenic in drinking water. In: Environmental Health Perspectives. 1992 ; Vol. 97. pp. 259-267.
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