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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Arsenic and cadmium exposure in children living near a smelter complex in San Luis Potosí, Mexico.

The main purpose of this study was to assess environmental contamination by arsenic and cadmium in a smelter community (San Luis Potosí City, México) and its possible contribution to an increased body burden of these elements in children. Arsenic and cadmium were found in the environment (air, soil, and household dust, and tap water) as well as in the urine and hair from children. The study was undertaken in three zones: Morales, an urban area close to the smelter complex; Graciano, an urban area 7 km away from the complex; and Mexquitic, a small rural town 25 km away. The environmental study showed that Morales is the most contaminated of the zones studied. The range of arsenic levels in soil (117-1396 ppm), dust (515-2625 ppm), and air (0.13-1.45 micrograms/m3) in the exposed area (Morales) was higher than those in the control areas. Cadmium concentrations were also higher in Morales. Estimates of the arsenic ingestion rate in Morales (1.0-19.8 micrograms/kg/day) were equal to or higher than the reference dose of 1 microgram/kg/day calculated by the Environmental Protection Agency. The range of arsenic levels in urine (69-594 micrograms/g creatinine) and hair (1.4-57.3 micrograms/g) and that of cadmium in hair (0.25-3.5 micrograms/g) indicated that environmental exposure has resulted in an increased body burden of these elements in children, suggesting that children living in Morales are at high risk of suffering adverse health effects if exposure continues.[1]


  1. Arsenic and cadmium exposure in children living near a smelter complex in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Díaz-Barriga, F., Santos, M.A., Mejía, J.J., Batres, L., Yáñez, L., Carrizales, L., Vera, E., del Razo, L.M., Cebrián, M.E. Environmental research. (1993) [Pubmed]
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