Residents of Taiwan who consumed drinking water with high levels of arsenic have a higher risk of lung cancer, with cigarette smokers from this group having an even greater risk, according to a study in the December 22/29 issue of JAMA.
Arsenic is a naturally occurring element in soil, and can contaminate drinking water, according to background information in the article. Residents of the southwestern and northeastern coasts of Taiwan had been drinking well water contaminated with a high concentration of arsenic before the establishment of the public tap water system.
Chi-Ling Chen, Ph.D., of the College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, and colleagues conducted a study to determine the dose-response relationship between ingested arsenic and lung cancer risk and the added effect of cigarette smoking on this risk.
Chien-Jen Chen, Sc.D. | EurekAlert!
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