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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2016 Dec 15;313:10-15. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2016.10.006. Epub 2016 Oct 8.

High risks of lung disease associated with early-life and moderate lifetime arsenic exposure in northern Chile.

Author information

1
Arsenic Health Effects Research Program, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Berkeley, CA, USA. Electronic address: craigs@berkeley.edu.
2
School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile; Advanced Center for Chronic Diseases (ACCDiS), FONDAP, Santiago, Chile.
3
Arsenic Health Effects Research Program, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Berkeley, CA, USA; Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
4
Arsenic Health Effects Research Program, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Berkeley, CA, USA.
5
Laboratorio de Anatomía Patológica Dra. Patricia Troncoso, Iquique, Chile; Hospital Felix Bulnes, Departmento de Anatomía Patológica, Santiago, Chile.
6
Global Health Sciences Program, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Arsenic in drinking water has been associated with increases in lung disease, but information on the long-term impacts of early-life exposure or moderate exposure levels are limited.

METHODS:

We investigated pulmonary disease and lung function in 795 subjects from three socio-demographically similar areas in northern Chile: Antofagasta, which had a well-described period of high arsenic water concentrations (860μg/L) from 1958 to 1970; Iquique, which had long-term arsenic water concentrations near 60μg/L; and Arica, with long-term water concentrations ≤10μg/L.

RESULTS:

Compared to adults never exposed >10μg/L, adults born in Antofagasta during the high exposure period had elevated odds ratios (OR) of respiratory symptoms (e.g., OR for shortness of breath=5.56, 90% confidence interval (CI): 2.68-11.5), and decreases in pulmonary function (e.g., 224mL decrease in forced vital capacity in nonsmokers, 90% CI: 97-351mL). Subjects with long-term exposure to arsenic water concentrations near 60μg/L also had increases in some pulmonary symptoms and reduced lung function.

CONCLUSIONS:

Overall, these findings provide new evidence that in utero or childhood arsenic exposure is associated with non-malignant pulmonary disease in adults. They also provide preliminary new evidence that long-term exposures to moderate levels of arsenic may be associated with lung toxicity, although the magnitude of these latter findings were greater than expected and should be confirmed.

KEYWORDS:

Arsenic; Chile; Drinking water; Early life; Long-term exposures; Lung function; Pulmonary disease

PMID:
27725189
PMCID:
PMC5247272
DOI:
10.1016/j.taap.2016.10.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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