Recent Published Articles

Environmental arsenic (As) and its potential relationship with endemic disease in southwestern China

Yang Zhang , Donglin Li , Hucai Zhang , Fengqin Chang , Lizeng Duan


Received February 08, 2023,Revised , Accepted May 04, 2023, Available online May 15, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 46-59

Many cases of an unknown disease exhibiting the clinical features of limb gangrene, blisters, ulceration, and exfoliation have been reported in Daping village (DV) in southwestern China. However, the pathogenesis is unknown and has puzzled doctors for many years. A preliminary study on heavy metals and symptoms indicated that arsenic might pose the greatest threat to the health of local residents. Here, to explore the sources of and factors influencing arsenic enrichment in DV, whose residents exhibit signs of arsenic poisoning, the As contents in soil, water, and plants were systematically measured. The results indicated high As contents in plant and soil samples obtained from the area, and the source of As may be linked to the weathering of black shale rock. Ingestion of soil and consumption of plants were the two main As exposure pathways among children and adults, respectively, and children exhibited a higher health risk than adults. We presume and emphasize that when extreme drought events occur, humans might face unusual risks resulting from exposure to toxic elements and the direct consumption of highly polluted water. Our study provides a new perspective and sheds light on the environmental geochemistry and health links of this disease.

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