Arsenic Poisoning in Inner Mongolia, China

Wei B, Yu J, Yang L, Li H, Chai Y, Xia Y, Wu K, Gao J, Guo Z, Cui N. Arsenic methylation and skin lesions in migrant and native adult women with chronic exposure to arsenic from drinking groundwater. Environmental geochemistry and health. 2016 Mar 2.

In order to figure out the prevalence of skin lesions and methylation capacity for migrant and native adult women in an endemic area for arsenic poisoning in Inner Mongolia, China, 207 adult women were selected for study subjects. The results showed that the prevalence of skin lesions for the external group, provincial group and native group was 36.54, 26.15 and 35.56 %, respectively. The nail content of arsenic and urinary concentrations of dimethylarsenic (DMA), monomethylarsenic (MMA) and inorganic arsenic (iAs) were significantly higher in women with skin lesions than in those without skin lesions. The highest urinary concentrations of DMA, MMA and iAs were 213.93, 45.72 and 45.01 μg/L in the native group. The arsenic methylation capacity index revealed that the external group had the greatest capacity, while the native group had the lowest. The odds ratios of skin lesions in relation to arsenic metabolites and arsenic methylation capacity varied widely among the three groups. Urinary MMA and iAs concentrations were positively associated with risk of skin lesions in the three groups of adult women, while primary and secondary methylation capacities were negatively related to risk of skin lesions in native and provincial groups. The external group might be more susceptible to MMA and iAs, while the provincial and native groups were more tolerance to MMA and iAs. Lower primary and secondary arsenic methylation capacities increased the risk of skin lesions in native and provincial groups. Moreover, higher nail arsenic concentration increased the risk of skin lesions of adult women.

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