Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2011 Sep;27(9):360-70. doi: 10.1016/j.kjms.2011.05.003. Epub 2011 Jul 27.

Chronic arsenic toxicity: studies in West Bengal, India.

Author information

  • 1Department of Research, DNGM Research Foundation, Kolkata, India. guhamazumder@yahoo.com

Abstract

Chronic arsenic toxicity (arsenicosis) as a result of drinking arsenic-contaminated groundwater is a major environmental health hazard throughout the world, including India. A lot of research on health effects, including genotoxic effect of chronic arsenic toxicity in humans, have been carried out in West Bengal during the last 2 decades. A review of literature including information available from West Bengal has been made to characterize the problem. Scientific journals, monographs, and proceedings of conferences with regard to human health effects, including genotoxicity, of chronic arsenic toxicity have been reviewed. Pigmentation and keratosis are the specific skin diseases characteristic of chronic arsenic toxicity. However, in West Bengal, it was found to produce various systemic manifestations, such as chronic lung disease, characterized by chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive and/or restrictive pulmonary disease, and bronchiectasis; liver diseases, such as non cirrhotic portal fibrosis; polyneuropathy; peripheral vascular disease; hypertension; nonpitting edema of feet/hands; conjunctival congestion; weakness; and anemia. High concentrations of arsenic, greater than or equal to 200 μg/L, during pregnancy were found to be associated with a sixfold increased risk for stillbirth. Cancers of skin, lung, and urinary bladder are the important cancers associated with this toxicity. Of the various genotoxic effects of arsenic in humans, chromosomal aberration and increased frequency of micronuclei in different cell types have been found to be significant. Various probable mechanisms have been incriminated to cause DNA damage because of chronic arsenic toxicity. The results of the study in West Bengal suggest that deficiency in DNA repair capacity, perturbation of methylation of promoter region of p53 and p16 genes, and genomic methylation alteration may be involved in arsenic-induced disease manifestation in humans. P53 polymorphism has been found to be associated with increased occurrence of arsenic-induced keratosis. Of the various genes involved in the regulation of arsenic metabolism, single-nucleotide polymorphisms of purine nucleoside phosphorylase, in one study, showed increased occurrence of arsenicosis.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Taiwan LLC. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk