Health effects of arsenic environmental pollution
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Katedra i Klinika Chorób Wewnętrznych, Zawodowych i Nadciśnienia Tętniczego, Uniwersytet Medyczny im. Piastów Śląskich we Wrocławiu
Miedziowe Centrum Zdrowia S.A., Lubin
Katedra i Klinika Reumatologii i Chorób Wewnętrznych, Uniwersytet Medyczny im. Piastów Śląskich we Wrocławiu
Corresponding author
Anna Skoczyńska   

Katedra i Klinika Chorób Wewnętrznych, Zawodowych i Nadciśnienia Tętniczego Uniwersytet Medyczny im. Piastów Śląskich we Wrocławiu ul. Borowska 213, 50-556 Wrocław
Med Srod. 2018;21(3):34-42
Arsenic air concentrations are relatively low and inhalation route plays only a minor role in the total exposure. On a global scale, elevated arsenic air concentrations are registered in proximity to anthropogenic emission sources, mainly copper mines. The majority of studies concern occupational exposure but not other types of exposure.

The purpose of this study is to present health effects of occupational and non-occupational exposure to arsenic.

Material and Methods:
A Pub-Med database search has been performed, using keywords such as arsenic-air-toxicity/ carcinogenicity, and their combinations.

In the years 1977–2015, 54 epidemiologic eksstudies concerning arsenic effects on population health were published. Only in four of them were arsenic air concentrations (0.5–21.6 mg/m3) presented together with arsenic inhalation effects, mainly respiratory and cardiovascular changes in copper mines workers. An increased mortality due to lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases, hematologic cancers, and liver cirrhosis in comparison to workers not occupationally exposed to arsenic was shown. Environmental exposure to arsenic contained in air (at 0.4–30 ng/m3 concentrations) equals about 40–90 ng of arsenic inhaled daily by exposed humans. In areas free from pollution, the inhaled dose may be 50 ng and less. Exposure to arsenic even at such low doses may result in inflammation of the respiratory tract, dyspnea, and nasal septum perforation. Another issue is arsenic carcinogenicity

In populations exposed to arsenic emitted by copper industry, toxic and carcinogenic arsenic effects should be monitored.

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