Biomarkers of arsenic exposure and effects in a Canadian rural population exposed through groundwater consumption
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Drinking water intake of arsenic (As) from private wells may represent a significant exposure pathway and induce oxidative DNA damage. We measured total As concentrations in hair and nails, and concentrations of the different species of As and its metabolites as well as 8-OHdG in urine of 110 non-smoking adults living in a rural region of the Province of Quebec, Canada. Significant differences in exposure biomarker levels were observed between individuals consuming drinking water with As levels of≤1.0,>1.0 -≤10 and>10 μg/l. Multivariate linear regression analysis also showed a significant relationship between estimated daily drinking water intakes of As and biomarker levels. Conversely, 8-OHdG levels were not significantly related to daily drinking water intakes of As or to hair, nail or urinary exposure biomarker levels, according to multivariate linear regression analysis. Even at the relatively low levels of As found in well water of our participants, water consumption significantly increases their body load of As, as confirmed by multiple matrix measurements, which reflected exposure over different time frames. However, this increased internal As dose was not associated with higher oxidative damage to DNA as reflected by urinary 8-OHdG levels.
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