An epidemiological study of arsenic in drinking water in Millard County, Utah
Authors: Southwick, JW; Western, AE; Beck, MM; Whitley, T; Isaacs, R; Petajan, J; Hansen, CD
In WH Lederer; RJ Fensterheim (Eds.), Arsenic: Industrial, biomedical and environmental perspectives (pp. 210-225). New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company.
HERO ID: 8721
This epidemiological study evaluated the health effects of arsenic in drinking water at levels approximately . . .
This epidemiological study evaluated the health effects of arsenic in drinking water at levels approximately four times the maximum allowed by the National Interim Primary Drinking Water Regulations. Study participants came from west Millard County, a desert area of Utah, which has a homogeneous, stable population with a predominantly Mormon lifestyle.
Physical examinations were given to 250 people and included evaluating dermatological and neurological health, sampling hair and urine for arsenic content and testing for anemia. Water consumption estimates were used to estimate arsenic ingestion. The 145 exposed participants came from the small communities of Hinckley and Deseret, where drinking water arsenic content averaged 0.18 and 0.21 mg/l respectively. The predominant arsenic species was arsenate (86% As+5). A matched control group of 105 participants was selected from a larger, neighboring community named Delta, where drinking water arsenic averaged 0.02 mg/l.
A clear relationship was shown between the amount of arsenic consumed and the amount of arsenic present in hair and urine smaples. Dermatological signs compatible with arsenic exposure were rare and, when found, were scattered singly among exposed and control participants rather than being clustered as multiple signs on individuals with higher arsenic exposure. Anemia was not found significantly more often among exposed participants. Nerve conduction slowing did not correlate significantly with arsenic exposure levels. Typical signs and symptoms of arsenic intoxication were not found in any of the study participants.