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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
icddr,b
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 24, No. 2, 2006, pp. 236-245
Bioline Code: hn06029
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 24, No. 2, 2006, pp. 236-245

 en Arsenic Exposure in Pregnancy: A Population-based Study in Matlab, Bangladesh
Vahter, Marie E.; Li, Li; Nermell, Barbro; Rahman, Anisur; Arifeen, Shams El; Rahman, Mahfuzar; Persson, Lars Åke & Ekström, Eva-Charlotte

Abstract

This study assessed the exposure of pregnant women to arsenic in Matlab, Bangladesh, an area with highly-elevated concentrations of arsenic in tubewells, by measuring concentrations of arsenic in urine. In a defined administrative area, all new pregnancies were identified by urine test in gestational week 6-8, and women were asked to participate in the assessment of arsenic exposure. Urine for analysis of arsenic was collected immediately and in gestational week 30. In total, 3,426 pregnant women provided urine samples during January 2002–March 2003. There was a considerable variation in urinary concentrations of arsenic (total range 1-1,470 μg/L, adjusted to specific gravity 1.012 g/mL), with an overall median concentration of 80 μg/L (25th and 75th percentiles were 37 and 208 μg/L respectively). Similar concentrations were found in gestational week 30, indicating no trend of decreasing exposure, despite the initiation of mitigation activities in the area. Arsenic exposure was negatively associated with socioeconomic classes and achieved educational level. There were marked geographical variations in exposure. The results emphasize the urgent need for efficient mitigation activities and investigations of arsenic-related reproductive effects.

Keywords
Arsenic; Arsenic exposure; Spatial variation; Pregnancy; Bangladesh

 
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