Inorganic Arsenic Exposure from US Rice and Total Water Intake

Madhavi Mantha, Edward Yeary, John Trent, Patricia A. Creed, Kevin Kubachka, Traci Hanley, Nohora Shockey, Douglas Heitkemper, Joseph Caruso, Jianping Xue, Glenn Rice, Larry Wymer, and John T. Creed. Estimating Inorganic Arsenic Exposure from U.S. Rice and Total Water Intakes Environmental Health Perspectives https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP418

BACKGROUND: Among nonoccupationally exposed U.S. residents, drinking water and diet are considered primary exposure pathways for inorganic arsenic
(iAs). In drinking water, iAs is the primary form of arsenic (As), while dietary As speciation techniques are used to differentiate iAs from less toxic arsenicals in food matrices.

OBJECTIVES: Our goal was to estimate the distribution of iAs exposure rates from drinking water intakes and rice consumption in the U.S. population
and ethnic- and age-based subpopulations.

METHODS: The distribution of iAs in drinking water was estimated by population, weighting the iAs concentrations for each drinking water utility in
the Second Six-Year Review data set. To estimate the distribution of iAs concentrations in rice ingested by U.S. consumers, 54 grain-specific, production-weighted composites of rice obtained from U.S. mills were extracted and speciated using both a quantitative dilute nitric acid extraction and speciation
(DNAS) and an in vitro gastrointestinal assay to provide an upper bound and bioaccessible estimates, respectively. Daily drinking water intake
and rice consumption rate distributions were developed using data from the What We Eat in America (WWEIA) study.

RESULTS: Using these data sets, the Stochastic Human Exposure and Dose Simulation (SHEDS) model estimated mean iAs exposures from drinking
water and rice were 4.2 ug/day and 1.4 ug/day, respectively, for the entire U.S. population. The Tribal, Asian, and Pacific population exhibited the
highest mean daily exposure of iAs from cooked rice (2.8 ug/day); the mean exposure rate for children between ages 1 and 2 years in this population
is 0.104 ug/kg body weight (BW)/day.

CONCLUSIONS: An average consumer drinking 1.5 L of water daily that contains between 2 and 3 ng iAs/mL is exposed to approximately the same
amount of iAs as a mean Tribal, Asian, and Pacific consumer is exposed to from rice. 

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