Sanitary-hygienic characteristics of health risk and clinical assessment of damage to health done to population living in a specific geochemical province under long-term exposure to arsenic introduced with drinking water

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613.2: 614.31

O.Yu. Ustinova1,3, P.Z. Shur2,3, A.E. Nosov3


1Perm State National University, 15 Bukireva Str., Perm, 614990, Russian Federation
2Perm State Medical University named after E.A. Wagner, 26 Petropavlovskaya Str., Perm, 614000, Russian Federation
3Federal Scientific Center for Medical and Preventive Health Risk Management Technologies, 82 Monastyrskaya Str., Perm, 614045, Russian Federation


In Russia geochemical provinces where arsenic is found are located in Yakutia, Siberia, Transbaikalia region, the Primorye, in the Urals, and Chukotka. Our research goal was to give sanitary-hygienic characteristics of health risk and perform clinical assessment of health damage done to population living in a specific geochemical province under long-term exposure to arsenic introduced with drinking water. We conducted our research in settlements where increased arsenic concentrations were detected in drinking water taken from centralized water supply systems taking into account also hygienic standards for arsenic contents in non-centralized water sources; those increased concentrations were caused by the structure of deep underground layers in the earth crust. We applied a set of sanitary-hygienic techniques and performed clinical examination of 147 people living in a specific geochemical province. We detected excessive arsenic concentrations in drinking water taken from centralized water supply systems; those concentrations were equal to 50-86 MPC whereas arsenic contents didn’t exceed 1 MPC in water taken from non-centralized water sources. We revealed that long-term consumption of water with arsenic contents being equal to 2.5 mg/dm3 and higher caused unacceptable carcinogenic (up to 4.09•10–2) and non-carcinogenic (HQ up to 494.4) population health risk. Potential risk turns into health damage when arsenicosis occurs; it usually happens after 17–19 years of exposure among adults and after 2–3 years among children. There are several basic clinical types of diseases caused by exposure to increased arsenic concentrations; adult people suffer from skin arsenicosis as per poikiloderma type or arsenic melanosis, polyneuropathy, cardiovascular pathology, ands carcinogenesis; children mostly suffer from skin arsenicosis that is usually leucomelanosis. Arsenicosis occurrence is 1.3–9.0 times more frequent among people living in a specific geochemical province who consume water with arsenic concentrations being equal to 2.5 mg/dm3 and higher in comparison with people who consume drinking water with arsenic contents being within their hygienic standards. Health damage is assessed as grave in 44.4 % cases (oncologic processes, polyneuropathy, and arsenic melanosis); as average, in 46.3 % cases (arsenic dyschromia); and as insignificant, in 9.3 % cases (vegetative-vascular dystonia or autonomous dysfunction, and functional disorders of the nervous system).

geochemical province, arsenic, drinking water, health risk, health damage, population morbidity, arsenic melanosis, arsenic polyneuropathy, oncologic processes
Ustinova O.Yu., Shur P.Z., Nosov A.E. Sanitary-hygienic characteristics of health risk and clinical assessment of damage to health done to population living in a specific geochemical province under long-term exposure to arsenic introduced with drinking water. Health Risk Analysis, 2019, no. 4, pp. 148–157. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2019.4.16.eng
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