Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Arsenic in drinking water; impact on human health

Claudia Hopenhayn
Arsenic in drinking water; impact on human health (in Arsenic, David J. Vaughan (editor))
Elements (April 2006) 2 (2): 103-107


In terms of its impact on human health, arsenic is unique in that most of the evidence linking it to diseases comes from epidemiological work; animal studies have not provided good models. It is also unique in causing a large number of different damaging effects and, as more studies are conducted, more such effects are found. To date, we know that arsenic from drinking water can cause severe skin diseases including skin cancer; lung, bladder, and kidney cancers, and perhaps other internal tumors; peripheral vascular disease; hypertension; and diabetes. It also seems to have a negative impact on reproductive processes (infant mortality and weight of newborn babies). The toxicology of arsenic involves mechanisms that are still not completely understood, but it is clear that a number of factors can affect both individual and population-level susceptibility to the toxic effects of arsenic-contaminated drinking water. Current research is addressing some of these, including genetic susceptibility and lifestyle factors that may increase arsenic's toxic effects, such as smoking, diet, and concurrent exposure to other substances. The reversibility of some effects upon cessation of exposure is also being investigated.

ISSN: 1811-5209
Serial Title: Elements
Serial Volume: 2
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Arsenic in drinking water; impact on human health
Title: Arsenic
Author(s): Hopenhayn, Claudia
Author(s): Vaughan, David J.editor
Affiliation: University of Kentucky, College of Public Health, Lexington, KY, United States
Affiliation: University of Manchester, School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, Manchester, United Kingdom
Pages: 103-107
Published: 200604
Text Language: English
Publisher: Mineralogical Society of America and Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland and Mineralogical Association of Canada and Geochemical Society and Clay Minerals Society, International
References: 23
Accession Number: 2006-070843
Categories: Environmental geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Country of Publication: International
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 200620
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal