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Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2013 Nov;36(3):1266-75. doi: 10.1016/j.etap.2013.10.006. Epub 2013 Oct 19.

A pilot study: the importance of inter-individual differences in inorganic arsenic metabolism for birth weight outcome.

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Yale School of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, Yale University, 60 College Street, P.O. Box 208034, New Haven, CT 06520-8034, USA.
Environmental Health Centre, Busuiocului 58, Cluj-Napoca, Romania 400240.
Babeş-Bolyai University, Mihail Kogalniceanu nr. 1, Cluj-Napoca, Romania 400084.
Karl-Franzens-Universität, Institut für Chemie, Schubertstraße 1/ III, 8010 Graz, Austria.
The John B. Pierce Laboratory, 290 Congress Avenue, New Haven, Connecticut 06519, USA.
The Children's Health and Environment Program, Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane St. Lucia, QLD 4072 Australia.
Biogen Idec, 14 Cambridge Place, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.
Contributed equally


Inorganic arsenic (iAs) exposure is detrimental to birth outcome. We lack information regarding the potential for iAs metabolism to affect fetal growth. Our pilot study evaluated postpartum Romanian women with known birth weight outcome for differences in iAs metabolism. Subjects were chronically exposed to low-to-moderate drinking water iAs. We analyzed well water, arsenic metabolites in urine, and toenail arsenic. Urine iAs and metabolites, toenail iAs, and secondary methylation efficiency increased as an effect of exposure (p<0.001). Urine iAs and metabolites showed a significant interaction effect between exposure and birth weight. Moderately exposed women with low compared to normal birth weight outcome had greater metabolite excretion (p<0.03); 67% with low compared to 10% with normal birth weight outcome presented urine iAs >9 μg/L (p=0.019). Metabolic partitioning of iAs toward excretion may impair fetal growth. Prospective studies on iAs excretion before and during pregnancy may provide a biomarker for poor fetal growth risk.


ANOVA; ASHRAM; Arsenic; Arsenic Health Risk Assessment and Molecular Epidemiology; Biomarker; Birth weight; DMA; EU; European Union; MMA; Methylation ratio; Romania; analysis of variance; dimethylarsinic acid; iAs; inorganic arsenic; monomethylarsonic acid

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