Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 151–158

Arsenic contamination in groundwater and its effects on adolescent intelligence and social competence in Bangladesh with special reference to daily drinking/cooking water intake

  • Mst. Nasrin Nahar
  • Tsukasa Inaoka
  • Miho Fujimura
  • Chiho Watanabe
  • Hana Shimizu
  • Sayra Tasnim
  • Nayar Sultana
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12199-013-0369-z

Cite this article as:
Nahar, M.N., Inaoka, T., Fujimura, M. et al. Environ Health Prev Med (2014) 19: 151. doi:10.1007/s12199-013-0369-z

Abstract

Objective

The present study aims to investigate the relationship between arsenic (As) exposure and intelligence quotient (IQ) or social competence (SC) of Bangladeshi adolescents (aged 14 or 15 years) in Sonargaon thana.

Methods

Information about socioeconomic status (SES) was collected as confounding factors. To evaluate the relative contribution of As sources to total As intake, the As concentrations in urine and drinking/cooking water, and the amount of water added in cooking, were assessed on site using a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ).

Results

The results confirmed that As exposure was essential to lower adolescent IQ or SC because they were negatively associated with As exposure after controlling for SES (particularly household income). Except for cooking water, the amount of drinking water varied with season and appeared to be the major As source because the As concentration in water was generally correlated with the As concentration in urine, and they were related to lower IQ or SC (even after controlling for SES). The FFQ survey revealed that rice was consumed the most frequently (more than once daily), followed by daal (bean) soup and nonleafy vegetables, but fish, meat, and eggs were consumed approximately once a week. Water intake per meal from cooked rice was estimated to be 616 mL/person, followed by bean soup (258 mL/person) and cooked vegetables (82 mL/person).

Conclusions

Our results suggest that water used for cooking might be an important source of As, and the cooking process can affect the amount of As in cooked food.

Keywords

Arsenic contamination Groundwater Adolescents Intelligence Social competence Daily water intake 

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society for Hygiene 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mst. Nasrin Nahar
    • 1
  • Tsukasa Inaoka
    • 2
  • Miho Fujimura
    • 2
  • Chiho Watanabe
    • 3
  • Hana Shimizu
    • 3
  • Sayra Tasnim
    • 3
  • Nayar Sultana
    • 3
  1. 1.The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Kagoshima University Allied to Faculty of AgricultureSaga UniversitySagaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Human Ecology, Faculty of AgricultureSaga UniversitySagaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Human EcologyThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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