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Arsenic in the human food chain: the Latin American perspective
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering. (KTH-International Groundwater Arsenic Research Group)
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering. (KTH-International Groundwater Arsenic Research Group)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4350-9950
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2012 (English)In: Science of the Total Environment, ISSN 0048-9697, E-ISSN 1879-1026, Vol. 429, 92-106 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many regions of Latin America are widely reported for the occurrence of high arsenic (As) in groundwater and surface water due to a combination of geological processes and/or anthropogenic activities. In this paper, we review the available literature (both in English and Spanish languages) to delineate human As exposure pathways through the food chain. Numerous studies show that As accumulations in edible plants and crops are mainly associated with the presence of high As in soils and irrigation waters. However, factors such as As speciation, type and composition of soil, and plant species have a major control on the amount of As uptake. Areas of high As concentrations in surface water and groundwater show high As accumulations in plants, fish/shellfish, livestock meat, milk and cheese. Such elevated As concentrations in food may result in widespread health risks to local inhabitants, including health of indigenous populations and residents living close to mining industries. Some studies show that As can be transferred from the water to prepared meals, thereby magnifying the As content in the human diet. Arsenic speciation might also change during food preparation, especially during high temperature cooking, such as grilling and frying. Finally, the review of the available literature demonstrates the necessity of more rigorous studies in evaluating pathways of As exposure through the human food chain in Latin America.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 429, 92-106 p.
Keyword [en]
Arsenic, Food chain, Vegetables, Livestock, Human diet, Arsenic speciation
National Category
Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-102646DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.09.069ISI: 000307085100006ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84862257729OAI: diva2:556070

QC 20120924

Available from: 2012-09-24 Created: 2012-09-21 Last updated: 2012-09-24Bibliographically approved

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