A recent study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found that mice exposed to low doses of arsenic in drinking water developed lung cancer. The doses given to the rodents were similar to that which may be found in the drinking water consumed by some people. The standard set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency is that levels of arsenic in drinking water for human consumption cannot be in excess of 10 parts per billion. There is no standard set for water coming out of private drinking wells, and many people derive their water from these.
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.
Arsenic levels in public drinking water cannot exceed 10 parts per billion (ppb), which is the standard set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. However, there are no established standards for private wells, from which millions of people get their drinking water.
In this study, the concentrations given to the mice in their drinking water were 50 parts per billion (ppb), 500 ppb, and 5,000 ppb. 50 ppb is the lowest concentration that has been tested in an animal study, and researchers say that because of differing rates of metabolism, mice need to be exposed to greater concentrations of arsenic in drinking water than humans to achieve the same biological dose and similar health effects.
The researchers used a model that duplicates how humans …
Arsenic is also used in some pesticides, but for most people expose comes from food and water. According to Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), this study adds to a number of others that show even very low doses of arsenic are unsafe and have the potential to cause cancer when they are consumed by humans over a prolonged period of time.
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