JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Multi-trace elements level in drinking water and the prevalence of multi-chronic arsenical poisoning in residents in the west area of Iran.

First, we determined the levels of 8 trace elements (As, Se, Hg, Cd, Ag, Mn, Cr and Pb) in 530 village drinking water sources by graphite furnace or flame atomic absorption spectroscopy method, in Kurdistan Province in the west of Iran. The results showed that the level of As, Cd and Se in 28 village drinking water sources exceeded WHO or National Standard limits. The levels of concentration of arsenic in drinking water ranged from 42 to 1500microg/L. Then in a cross-sectional survey, 587 people from 211 households were chosen for clinical examinations of multi-chronic arsenical poisoning including pigment disorders, keratosis of palms and soles, Mee's line in fingers and nails and the gangrene as a systemic manifestation. Of 587 participants, 180 (30.7%) participants were affected by representing the type of chronic arsenical poisoning. The prevalence of Mee's line, keratosis, and pigment disorders were 86.1%, 77.2% and 67.8% respectively. Therefore, the prevalence of Mee's line between inhabitants was higher than the other disorders. The results show a strong linear relationship between arsenic exposure and occurrence of multi-chronic arsenical poisoning (R(2)=0.76). The association between age for more than 40 years and gender for more than 60 years with chronic arsenical poisoning is significant (p<0.05). Also, there is a relationship between subjects who were affected with disorders and duration of living in the village. Except for gangrene disorder, the odds ratio of prevalence of other disorders with arsenic exposure level in drinking water show a highly significant relationship between arsenic content and the risk of chronic disorders (p<0.01). These results confirm the need to further study trace elements in drinking waters, food products and other samples in this area and the relationship to other chronic diseases arising out of arsenicosis.

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