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 EFFECTS OF ARSENIC

ANCHOR LEAD: LEVELS OF ARSENIC PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT TO BE SAFE ARE NOW THOUGHT NOT TO BE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Arsenic comes in two forms, organic and inorganic.  The organic form is found in seafood and doesn’t appear to have much of an impact on health, but the inorganic form, found naturally in rocks and soil, now is thought to be deleterious at much lower levels than previously thought, according to a Johns Hopkins study. Ana Navas-Acien, the study’s lead author, explains.

NAVAS-ACIEN:  Exposure to arsenic is widespread in the population.  The most important source of exposure is drinking water.  Inorganic arsenic is also found in certain foods such as rice and flour even though in small quantities but maybe it is possible that these small quantities may affect, for example, diabetes development as was the topic of our study but also other conditions such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.   :28

Navas-Acien says this study needs to be replicated in larger groups of people but even now, a clear mandate for the EPA to regulate arsenic more closely is apparent.  I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.

 


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