Volume 3, Number 3 and 4 (18 2008)                   irje 2008, 3(3 and 4): 21-27 | Back to browse issues page


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Hosseinpour Feizi M, Mosaferi M, Dastgiri S, Zolali S, Pouladi N, Azarfam P. Contamination of Drinking Water with Arsenic and its Various Health Effects in the Village of Ghopuz. irje. 2008; 3 (3 and 4) :21-27
URL: http://irje.tums.ac.ir/article-1-158-en.html

Abstract:   (9167 Views)
Background & Objectives: Arsenicosis is a serious environmental disease caused by chronic exposure to arsenic- usually from drinking water. Signs and symptoms of chronic arsenic poisoning include hyperkeratosis, hyper- or hypopigmentation, and ulcers. Also, the incidence of cancer is increased in the exposed population. There is some evidence of high arsenic levels in drinking water in the village of Ghopuz, located in Hashtrud District, East Azerbaijan province. We evaluated the genetic and health effects of chronic arsenic exposure in the residents of Ghopuz.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study we determined the prevalence of hyperkeratosis, hyperpigmentation and hypertension in Ghopuz village. The study involved 101 individuals in Ghopuz and 107 in the adjacent village of Mayan, who were all visited by a trained physician. A total of 46 blood samples were collected for kariotyping. The level of heavy metals in water was determined by the Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) method.
Results: We detected high arsenic levels in the drinking water at Ghopuz (mean concentration in water = 1.03 mg/L). There were chromosomal defects in the exposed group. Mean systolic blood pressure at Ghopuz (137mmHg, 95% CI: 132-142) was significantly higher than in Mayan (107, 95% CI: 99.9-114). Also, mean diastolic blood pressure at Ghopuz (82, 95% CI: 79-85) was significantly higher than in Mayan (71, 95% CI: 66-75). Hyperkeratosis was 34 times more frequent in the exposed population (OR = 34, P< 0.001). Also, hyperpigmentation was significantly more frequent in the exposed population (OR = 2.4, P < 0.007).
Conclusions: Water arsenic and nitrate levels at Ghopuz were higher than the maximum permissible levels. The prevalence of skin lesions and hypertension is increased at Ghopuz village due to arsenic exposure. There is also some evidence of chromosomal defects in the exposed group. Affected people need appropriate medical care, and safe drinking water should be provided to reduce arsenic exposure.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: General
Received: 2007/08/25 | Accepted: 2008/02/23 | Published: 2013/09/7

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