Daily Archives: February 23, 2013

Dust, paint, drinking water lead exposure to Montreal children

Patrick Levallois, Julie St-Laurent, Denis Gauvin, Marilène Courteau, Michèle Prévost, Céline Campagna, France Lemieux, Shokoufeh Nour, Monique D’Amour and Pat E Rasmussen. The impact of drinking water, indoor dust and paint on blood lead levels of children aged 1–5 years in Montréal (Québec, Canada). Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. doi: 10.1038/jes.2012.129

Lead is neurotoxic at very low dose and there is a need to better characterize the impact of domestic sources of lead on the biological exposure of young children. A cross-sectional survey evaluated the contribution of drinking water, house dust and paint to blood lead levels (BLLs) of young children living in old boroughs of Montréal (Canada). Three hundred and six children aged 1 to 5 years and currently drinking tap water participated in the study. For each participant, residential lead was measured in kitchen tap water, floor dust, windowsill dust and house paint and a venous blood sample was analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between elevated BLL in the children (≥ 75th percentile) and indoor lead contamination by means of odds ratios (OR) using 95% confidence intervals (CI). There was an association between BLL ≥75th percentile (1.78 μg/dL) and water lead when the mean water concentration was >3.3 μg/L: adjusted OR=4.7 (95% CI: 2.1–10.2). Windowsill dust loading >14.1 μg/ft2 was also associated with BLL ≥1.78 μg/dL: adjusted OR=3.2 (95% CI: 1.3–7.8). Despite relatively low BLLs, tap water and house dust lead contribute to an increase of BLLs in exposed young children.

Click here for full paper (Open Source).

Drinking water arsenic and liver cancer in Taiwan….a threshold effect.

This study suggests a threshold effect for drinking water arsenic in villages along the southwest coast area of Taiwan.

Hung-Jung Lina, Tzu-I Sunge, Chi-Yi Cheng, How-Ran Guoe. Arsenic levels in drinking water and mortality of liver cancer in Taiwan. Journal of Hazardous Materials. (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2012.12.049

The carcinogenic effect of arsenic is well documented, but epidemiologic data on liver cancer were limited. To evaluate the dose–response relationship between arsenic in drinking water and mortality of liver cancer, we conducted a study in 138 villages in the southwest coast area of Taiwan. We assessed arsenic levels in drinking water using data from a survey conducted by the government and reviewed death certificates from 1971 to 1990 to identify liver cancer cases. Using village as the unit, we conducted multivariate regression analyses and then performed post hoc analyses to validate the findings. During the 20-year period, 802 male and 301 female mortality cases of liver cancer were identified. After adjusting for age, arsenic levels above 0.64 mg/L were associated with an increase in the liver cancer mortality in both genders, but no significant effect was observed for lower exposure categories. Post hoc analyses and a review of literature supported these findings. We concluded that exposures to high arsenic levels in drinking water are associated with the occurrence of liver cancer, but such an effect is not prominent at exposure levels lower than 0.64 mg/L.

Click here for full paper (fee).