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Is Saliva a Potential Biomarker of Arsenic Exposure?: A Case-Control Study in West Bengal, India
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630). (KTH-International Groundwater Arsenic Research Group)
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2013 (English)In: Environmental Science and Technology, ISSN 0013-936X, E-ISSN 1520-5851, Vol. 47, no 7, 3326-3332 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Saliva is a biological fluid that has not been used extensively as a biomonitoring tool in epidemiological studies. This study presents the arsenic (As) concentrations in saliva and urine samples collected from populations of West Bengal, India who had been previously exposed to high As levels in their drinking water. We found a significant (p < 0.05) association between the Log transformed Daily Ingestion of As (mu g day(-1)) and the As concentration in saliva (r = 0.68). Additionally, As concentration of saliva and urine also had a significant positive correlation (r = 0.60, p < 0.05). Male participants, smokers, and cases of skin lesion were independently and significantly associated with an increase in salivary As. Thus our findings show that saliva is a useful biomarker of As exposure in the study population. The study also advocates that measurement of the forms of As in saliva may additionally provide insight into the internal dose and any individual differences in susceptibility to As exposure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 47, no 7, 3326-3332 p.
Keyword [en]
Drinking-Water, Skin-Lesions, Affected Area, Human Nails, Population, Cadmium, Lead, Bangladesh, Speciation, Hair
National Category
Water Engineering Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-122331DOI: 10.1021/es303756sISI: 000317173100041ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84875775111OAI: diva2:622297

QC 20130521

Available from: 2013-05-21 Created: 2013-05-20 Last updated: 2013-09-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Arsenic Exposure Risk from Rice and Other Dietry Components in Rural Bengal
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Arsenic Exposure Risk from Rice and Other Dietry Components in Rural Bengal
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study investigates the risk of arsenic (As) exposure from staple diet to the communities in rural Bengal, even when they have been supplied with As safe drinking water. The results indicate that average accumulation of As in rice grain increases with decrease of grain size [extra-long slender (ELS): 0.04 mg kg-1; long slender (LS): 0.10 mg kg-1; medium slender (MS): 0.16 mg kg-1 and short bold (SB): 0.33 mg kg-1], however people living in the rural villages mostly prefer brown colored SB type of rice because of its lower cost. Among the vegetables generally consumed in rural villages, the accumulation of As is highest in the leafy type of vegetables (0.21 mg kg-1), compared to non-leafy (0.07 mg kg-1) and root  vegetables (0.10 mg kg-1). Arsenic predominantly accumulates in rice (>90%) and vegetables (almost 100%) in inorganic species [As(III & V)]. The estimates of exposure via dietary and drinking water routes show that when people are consuming water with As concentration <10 μg L-1, the total daily intake of inorganic As (TDI-iAs) exceeds the previous provisional tolerable daily intake (PTDI) value of 2.1 μg day-1 kg-1 BW, recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) in 35% of the cases due to consumption of rice. Considerably high concentration of As in urine and saliva despite drinking of As safe water (<10 μg L-1) further supports that dietary intake of As, mainly through consumption of rice could be alternative pathway of As exposure among the population. When the level of As concentration in drinking water is above 10 μg L-1, the TDI-iAs exceeds the previous  PTDI for all the participants. These results imply that when rice consumption is a significant contributor to the TDI-iAs, supplying water with As concentration at current national drinking water standard for India and Bangladesh (50 μg L-1) would place many people above the safety threshold of PTDI. When As concentration in drinking water exceeds 50 μg L-1 As exposure through drinking water largely predominates over the exposure through dietary intake. It is found that the consumption of vegetables in rural Bengal does not pose  significant health threat to the population independently. It is also revealed that cooking of rice with high volume of As safe (<10 μg L-1) water can decrease both total and inorganic As content in cooked rice. However, the assessment of As exposure risk indicates that despite such lowering in As concentrations, still consumption of cooked rice is a significant pathway of As exposure to the population in rural Bengal. This study suggests that any effort to mitigate the As exposure of the villagers in Bengal must consider the risk of As exposure from rice consumption together with drinking water.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2013. xiv, 33 p.
Trita-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1072
Rural Bengal; Arsenic; Rice and other dietary components; Total daily intake; Biomarkers; Risk assessment
National Category
Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-128941 (URN)978-91-7501-848-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-09-25, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

QC 20130919

Available from: 2013-09-19 Created: 2013-09-17 Last updated: 2013-09-24Bibliographically approved

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