Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 2729–2738 | Cite as

A follow-up study of the development of skin lesions associated with arsenic exposure duration

  • Binggan Wei
  • Jiangping Yu
  • Chang Kong
  • Hairong LiEmail author
  • Linsheng YangEmail author
  • Yajuan Xia
  • Kegong Wu
Original Paper


Little information about the development of skin lesions in relation to arsenic exposure duration is available. Therefore, skin lesions in a cohort from the Bameng region of China were diagnosed in 2012 and 2017. The results indicated that the prevalence of hyperkeratosis, pigmentation and depigmentation in 2017 was 64.67, 6.67 and 12.67%. There were 42 and 34% of male subjects and female subjects suffered from skin lesions in 2012. Their morbidity rates were 10.43 and 8.98 per 1000 person-years. In 2017, the values were significantly increased. The prevalence and morbidity rate of skin lesions were positively correlated with age and arsenic levels in drinking water. Males had higher prevalence of skin lesions compared with female. However, the ≤ 40 years female group had higher prevalence of skin lesions. In addition, the increased rate of skin lesions prevalence was negatively correlated with arsenic levels in drinking water. The odds ratios (ORs) showed that the risks of skin lesions were positively associated with the proportion of inorganic arsenic (%iAs) and monomethylarsonic acid (%MMA) in urine, and negatively correlated with arsenic methylation capacity in both 2012 and 2017. It can be concluded that females immigrated from other areas were more susceptible to developing skin lesions. A certain cumulative arsenic exposure dose, which may be existing, significantly increased the prevalence of skin lesions. Longer arsenic exposure duration might elevate the toxicity of iAs to skin lesions and reduce the positive effects of arsenic methylation capacity on skin lesions.


Arsenic Drinking water Skin lesions Development Exposure duration 



The work described in this paper was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41601559) and the State Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41230749).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

10653_2018_136_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (212 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 212 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Collage of Resources and EnvironmentUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Inner Mongolia Center for Comprehensive Disease Control and PreventionHohhotPeople’s Republic of China

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