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Exposure to arsenic through breast milk from mothers exposed to high levels of arsenic in drinking water: Infant risk assessment
- Samiee, Fateme, Leili, Mostafa, Faradmal, Javad, Torkshavand, Zahra, Asadi, Gholamreza
- Food control 2019 v.106 pp. 106669
- arsenic, breast feeding, breast milk, drinking water, food crops, groundwater, heavy metals, infants, lactating women, milk, mothers, risk assessment, rural areas, toxicity, villages, Iran
- Heavy metal toxicity is related with a number of diseases, but the problem increases many-fold when toxic metals are found in breast milk, the basic food item in a vulnerable age group. Twenty milk samples from lactating women were collected from rural areas of arsenic-affected districts of Kaboodrahang city, Iran. Arsenic levels in drinking water were also analyzed. As controls, 20 breast milk samples and 8 drinking water samples were also collected from two villages southwest of Kaboodrahang city, where no groundwater arsenic contamination has been reported. Mean (±SD) arsenic concentration was 10.75 (±7.62) μg/L in study samples and 7.73 (±4.01) μg/L in control samples. Unacceptable non-carcinogenic health risk levels or hazard quotients for arsenic were found in 55% of breastfed infants in the contaminated areas and 41% of breastfed infants in the non-contaminated area. The results showed that the levels of arsenic in both contaminated and non-contaminated areas were high. This suggest that arsenic probably enters the mother's milk from other sources such as food crops in the study area. Our results indicate a potential risk of arsenic toxicity in infants in rural areas in Kaboodrahang city via the consumption of mothers' breast milk.