Arsenic Concentrations in Household Drinking Water: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Pregnant Women in Tacna, Peru, 2019

Abstract

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around ~ 150 million people in 70 different countries have been consuming water with arsenic levels higher than the recommended limit of 10 µg/L. Here we describe the concentrations of inorganic arsenic in drinking water in homes of pregnant women living in the province of Tacna, near the southern border of Peru. 161 pregnant women were enrolled in their second trimester of pregnancy. A total of 100 mL drinking water was collected in each household from the source of most common use. Inorganic arsenic was categorized into three levels with a commercial kit. Thirty percent of women had drinking water ≤ 10 µg/L (the WHO recommended level), 35% had 25 µg/L, and 35% had greater than 50 µg/L. Low arsenic levels were found in the southernmost homes, supplied by groundwater, while high levels were found in the northern and metropolitan homes supplied by river water.

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Funding

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and the NIH under Award Number for research grant U01 TW0101 07. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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DF contributed to study design, data collection and analysis, interpretation and writing of first and subsequent drafts of the paper. CV contributed to study design, data collection and analysis, interpretation and writing of first and subsequent drafts of the paper. JA contributed with the coordination and management of the permits with the local government, and with the writing of the first draft. MOG contributed to the study design, data analysis, interpretation and writing of the drafts. JKW contributed to the study design and writing of the final draft of the paper. MYL contributed to the study design, interpretation and writing of the final draft of the paper. Kyle Steenland contributed to the study design, data analysis, interpretation and writing of the first and subsequent drafts of the paper. GFG contributed to the study design, data analysis, interpretation and writing of the first and subsequent drafts of the paper.

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Correspondence to Cinthya Vásquez-Velásquez.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Free and informed consent of the participants or their legal representatives was obtained and the study protocol was approved by the appropriate Committee for the Protection of Human Participants “Institutional Research Ethics Committee,” by the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, Protocol 102434, December 10, 2018.

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Fano, D., Vásquez-Velásquez, C., Aguilar, J. et al. Arsenic Concentrations in Household Drinking Water: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Pregnant Women in Tacna, Peru, 2019. Expo Health 12, 555–560 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12403-019-00337-5

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Keywords

  • Arsenic poisoning
  • Reproductive health
  • Environmental health
  • Exposure assessment
  • Medical geology