Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Arsenic ingestion from well water associated with increased risk of lung cancer


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.

The study included 2,503 residents in southwestern and 8,088 in northeastern arsenic-endemic areas in Taiwan, who were followed up for an average period of 8 years. Information on arsenic exposure, cigarette smoking, and other risk factors was collected at enrollment through standardized questionnaire interview.

During the study followup period, there were 139 newly diagnosed cases of lung cancer. Residents with the highest level of arsenic exposure had a 3.29 times increased risk for lung cancer, after adjusting for various factors including age, sex, and cigarette smoking status at recruitment. Among nonsmokers, those who were exposed to the highest arsenic level had about twice the risk for lung cancer when compared with those with the lowest level of exposure. Among participants with the lowest arsenic level, those who had the highest cumulative cigarette smoking exposure had a 4-fold risk of lung cancer compared with nonsmokers. When compared with nonsmokers with the lowest levels of arsenic exposure, those who consumed well water with the highest arsenic levels and smoked for more than 25 pack-years had a more than 11-fold risk of lung cancer.

"Approximately 32 percent to 55 percent of lung cancer cases were estimated to be attributable to the combined effect of cigarette smoking and ingested arsenic, depending on the levels of both exposures," the authors write. "The synergy indices ranged from 1.62 to 2.52, indicating a synergistic effect of ingested arsenic and cigarette smoking on lung cancer."

"The reductions in cigarette smoking would likely reduce the lung cancer risk accompanied by exposure to arsenic, and similarly, reductions in arsenic exposure would reduce the lung cancer risk among cigarette smokers. Appropriate public health interventions, such as cigarette smoking cessation programs and reduction in arsenic concentration of drinking water, are warranted. Furthermore, it is essential to take cigarette smoking into consideration in the risk assessment and the determination of the maximal contamination level of arsenic in drinking water," the authors conclude.

Chien-Jen Chen, Sc.D. | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Gene therapy shows promise for treating Niemann-Pick disease type C1

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Solid progress in carbon capture

27.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>