Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Diet and toenail arsenic concentrations in a New Hampshire population with arsenic-containing water.

Authors: Cottingham, Kathryn L; Karimi, Roxanne; Gruber, Joann F; Zens, M Scot; Sayarath, Vicki; Folt, Carol L; Punshon, Tracy; Morris, J Steven; Karagas, Margaret R

Published In Nutr J, (2013 Nov 16)

Abstract: Limited data exist on the contribution of dietary sources of arsenic to an individual's total exposure, particularly in populations with exposure via drinking water. Here, the association between diet and toenail arsenic concentrations (a long-term biomarker of exposure) was evaluated for individuals with measured household tap water arsenic. Foods known to be high in arsenic, including rice and seafood, were of particular interest.Associations between toenail arsenic and consumption of 120 individual diet items were quantified using general linear models that also accounted for household tap water arsenic and potentially confounding factors (e.g., age, caloric intake, sex, smoking) (n = 852). As part of the analysis, we assessed whether associations between log-transformed toenail arsenic and each diet item differed between subjects with household drinking water arsenic concentrations <1 μg/L versus ≥1 μg/L.As expected, toenail arsenic concentrations increased with household water arsenic concentrations. Among the foods known to be high in arsenic, no clear relationship between toenail arsenic and rice consumption was detected, but there was a positive association with consumption of dark meat fish, a category that includes tuna steaks, mackerel, salmon, sardines, bluefish, and swordfish. Positive associations between toenail arsenic and consumption of white wine, beer, and Brussels sprouts were also observed; these and most other associations were not modified by exposure via water. However, consumption of two foods cooked in water, beans/lentils and cooked oatmeal, was more strongly related to toenail arsenic among those with arsenic-containing drinking water (≥1 μg/L).This study suggests that diet can be an important contributor to total arsenic exposure in U.S. populations regardless of arsenic concentrations in drinking water. Thus, dietary exposure to arsenic in the US warrants consideration as a potential health risk.

PubMed ID: 24237880 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Adult; Aged; Arsenic/administration & dosage; Arsenic/analysis*; Arsenic/metabolism; Arsenic/toxicity; Biomarkers/analysis; Biomarkers/metabolism; Carcinogens, Environmental/administration & dosage; Carcinogens, Environmental/analysis*; Carcinogens, Environmental/metabolism; Carcinogens, Environmental/toxicity; Case-Control Studies; Diet/adverse effects; Drinking Water/adverse effects; Drinking Water/chemistry*; Female; Food Contamination*; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Models, Biological*; Nails/chemistry*; Nails/metabolism; New Hampshire; Skin Neoplasms/chemically induced; Skin Neoplasms/metabolism; Toes; Urinary Bladder Neoplasms/chemically induced; Urinary Bladder Neoplasms/metabolism; Water Pollution, Chemical/adverse effects*; Water Supply/analysis; Young Adult

Back
to Top