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Dartmouth College

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Superfund Research Program

Epidemiology of Arsenic and Other Toxic Metals

Project Leader: Margaret R. Karagas
Grant Number: P42ES007373
Funding Period: 1995-2020

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Project Summary (1995-2000)

The purpose of this study is to examine whether exposure to trace levels of arsenic and other potentially toxic metals through drinking water increases an individual's risk of skin or bladder cancer. Researchers are studying 900 New Hampshire residents who have had a skin cancer (600 basal cell and 300 squamous cell) and 390 individuals who have had bladder cancer. The exposure history of these individuals are being compared to a random sample of the New Hampshire population (730 individuals). Exposure to toxic metals is determined by measuring the amount of arsenic which has accumulated in individuals' toenails, and measuring the concentration of arsenic in study participants' household drinking water supplies. This study is among the first to provide information regarding individual exposure to arsenic (and possibly other toxic metals) and risk of cancer in a geographically defined US population. Knowledge of these risks will help prevent future adverse health effects from these exposures.

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