Determination of arsenic scalp hair of Pakistani children and drinking water for environmental risk assessment

This cross-sectional study measured arsenic (As) concentrations in scalp hair from children in 2 age groups exposed to polluted groundwater in Pakistan. As concentrations in water and scalp hair were analysed by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. Study areas were divided into 3 regions based on As concentrations in water and scalp hair of children exposed to different As concentrations via drinking water consumption. Average As concentrations in groundwater in Faiz Ganj, Thari Mirwah, and Gambat sub-districts were 15.2, 28.5, and 98.3 íg/L, respectively, marked as less, medium, and highly polluted areas, respectively. The proportion of children with lower body mass index significantly increased with increasing As exposure level; a dose-response relationship was consistently observed among sub-groups. As concentrations in scalp hair of children 1-5 and 6-10 years old were 0.21-3.88 and 0.32-3.63 íg/g, respectively. The authors concluded that the results indicate that it is likely that children in the study areas are chronically exposed to As via drinking water consumption, suggesting there is an urgent need to take immediate action, particularly in the Gambat sub-district.

Authors: Baig, Jameel A.; Kazi, Tasneem G.; Shah, Abdul Q.; Khan, Sumaira; Kolachi, Nida F.; Afridi, Hassan I.; Kandhro, Ghulam A.; Wadhwa, Sham K.; Baig, Akhtar Mehmood; Shah, Faheem; Kanhar, Fida H. ;Full Source: Human and Ecological Risk Assessment [online computer file] 2011, 17(4), 966-980 (Eng) ;