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Arsenic is a naturally occurring element widely distributed in the earth’s crust. In the environment, arsenic is combined with oxygen, chlorine, and sulfur to form inorganic arsenic compounds. Arsenic in animals and plants combines with carbon and hydrogen to form organic arsenic compounds.

Breathing high levels of inorganic arsenic can give you a sore throat or irritated lungs.

Ingesting very high levels of arsenic can result in death. Exposure to lower levels can cause nausea and vomiting, decreased production of red and white blood cells, abnormal heart rhythm, damage to blood vessels, and a sensation of “pins and needles” in hands and feet.

Ingesting or breathing low levels of inorganic arsenic for a long time can cause a darkening of the skin and the appearance of small “corns” or “warts” on the palms, soles, and torso.

EPA should lower safe fluoride level goal in public drinking water systems to zero

New evidence indicating that EPA should lower its safe fluoride level goal in public drinking water systems to zero, will be presented by former EPA senior risk assessment scientist, William Hirzy PhD, at the Fluoride Action Network's (FAN) 5th Citizens' Conference and Lobby Day on Fluoride, September 5 – 8, at the Crystal City Hyatt Regency Hotel in Crystal City, VA. A press conference on September 5 will provide a preview (details below). [More]
Health concerns over arsenic in rice-especially for children

Health concerns over arsenic in rice-especially for children

Inorganic arsenic in rice and rice-based foods poses health concerns in infants and young children, and steps should be taken to minimize exposure, according to a commentary in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, official journal of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. [More]
Mice exposed to low doses of arsenic in drinking water develop lung cancer

Mice exposed to low doses of arsenic in drinking water develop lung cancer

Mice exposed to low doses of arsenic in drinking water, similar to what some people might consume, developed lung cancer, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found. [More]
Study: Infant toenails reliable way to estimate arsenic exposure before birth

Study: Infant toenails reliable way to estimate arsenic exposure before birth

Infant toenails are a reliable way to estimate arsenic exposure before birth, a Dartmouth College study shows. The findings appear in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology. A PDF of the study is available on request. [More]
Research explores links between planet's health and human health

Research explores links between planet's health and human health

United Nations University will help pioneer a fresh trail in global health research, exploring links between the planet's health and human health at an institute in Kuala Lumpur generously supported by Malaysia. [More]

NSF awards nearly $200,000 to make environmentally friendly field analyzer

The National Science Foundation has awarded nearly $200,000 to two University of Texas at Arlington researchers teaming with a private company to make an affordable, environmentally friendly field analyzer for arsenic levels in water. [More]
Individuals with dyspnea have increased long-term mortality risk

Individuals with dyspnea have increased long-term mortality risk

Individuals with dyspnea, or shortness of breath, have an increased long-term mortality risk compared with individuals without dyspnea, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference. [More]
Environmental researchers call for ban on cigarette filters

Environmental researchers call for ban on cigarette filters

Ban cigarette filters. Start a deposit-return scheme for used butts. Hold manufacturers responsible for clean-ups. Place warnings on packets about the impact of simply flicking one's used cigarettes away. [More]
Effects of PectaSol-C modified citrus pectin in prostate cancer patients to be studied in phase III trial

Effects of PectaSol-C modified citrus pectin in prostate cancer patients to be studied in phase III trial

A phase III clinical trial conducted at the Meir Medical Center in Kfar-Saba, Israel is now recruiting participants to study the effects of dietary supplement PectaSol-C modified citrus pectin (MCP) in controlling prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in prostate cancer patients. [More]
Exposure to arsenic in drinking water negatively associated with child intelligence, shows study

Exposure to arsenic in drinking water negatively associated with child intelligence, shows study

A study by researchers at Columbia University reports that schoolchildren from three school districts in Maine exposed to arsenic in drinking water experienced declines in child intelligence. [More]
Research reveals 2 key mechanisms of oxidative stress regulation

Research reveals 2 key mechanisms of oxidative stress regulation

Regulation of oxidative stress is critical to cell survival. New preclinical research from Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) has revealed two key mechanisms by which oxidative stress is regulated in normal and cancerous cells. [More]
Metallic toys, low-cost jewelry can affect children's health

Metallic toys, low-cost jewelry can affect children's health

We know that babies and young children often put non-food items in their mouths, a behaviour that occasionally leads to swallowing of foreign objects. Metallic toys and low-cost jewelry often contain toxic substances such as lead and cadmium. [More]

Arsenic, selenium, mercury in bighead and silver carp do not appear to be health concern

Researchers at the Prairie Research Institute's Illinois Natural History Survey have found that overall, concentrations of arsenic, selenium, and mercury in bighead and silver carp from the lower Illinois River do not appear to be a health concern for a majority of human consumers. [More]
Poisonous bacteria may one day become useful tool for industry and environmental protection

Poisonous bacteria may one day become useful tool for industry and environmental protection

Buried deep in the mud along the banks of a remote salt lake near Yosemite National Park are colonies of bacteria with an unusual property: they breathe a toxic metal to survive. [More]
Researchers receive $8M grant to expand research in arsenic toxicity in children, pregnant women

Researchers receive $8M grant to expand research in arsenic toxicity in children, pregnant women

​The Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Center at Dartmouth and its partner universities have received an $8 million grant to expand their research into arsenic toxicity in children and pregnant women. [More]
Cell Therapeutics gets $5 million payment from Teva for TRISENOX

Cell Therapeutics gets $5 million payment from Teva for TRISENOX

Cell Therapeutics, Inc. today announced that it has received a $5 million milestone payment from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. related to the achievement of a sales milestone for TRISENOX (arsenic trioxide). [More]
State highlights: Dispute over what doctors can say at Catholic hospital

State highlights: Dispute over what doctors can say at Catholic hospital

A dispute between a Colorado cardiologist and a Catholic hospital over what he says is a ban on discussing abortion with patients, even when a pregnancy threatens a woman's life, is part of today's health policy roundup from Colorado and California. [More]

New method for checking medicines for elemental impurities

For the first time in more than 100 years, drug and dietary supplement manufacturers are updating the tests used to ensure that their products contain safe levels of metal impurities, and the stringent new requirements, instruments and costs are the topic of the cover story in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News. C&EN is the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. [More]

Millions of Chinese face risk of chronic arsenic poisoning

Since the 1960s, it has been known that groundwater resources in certain provinces of China are contaminated with arsenic. Estimates of the numbers of affected people have risen year by year. In the most recent survey - conducted by the Chinese Ministry of Health between 2001 and 2005 - more than 20,000 (5%) of the 445,000 wells tested showed arsenic concentrations higher than 50 -g/L. [More]
Study confirms exposure to arsenic in drinking water can impair lung function

Study confirms exposure to arsenic in drinking water can impair lung function

A new study confirms that exposure to low to moderate amounts of arsenic in drinking water can impair lung function. Doses of about 120 parts per billion of arsenic in well water-about 12 times the dose generally considered safe-produced lung damage comparable to decades of smoking tobacco. Smoking, especially by males, made arsenic-related damage even worse. [More]