Drinking Arsenic Water is Just As Bad as Smoking For Decades
Aug 26, 2013 21:40
A new study has discovered that drinking water contaminated with unsafe levels of arsenic is as dangerous for the lungs as decades of smoking.
Arsenic is notoriously poisonous. It's an element that occurs naturally in the Earth's rocks, water and soil.
To study arsenic's effects on lung health, the researchers looked at arsenic levels that were at least twice as high as what the U.S Environmental Protection Agency considers permissible for drinking water. Those levels appeared in drinking water in Bangladesh.
But Bangladesh isn't the only country where the water supply contained unsafe levels of arsenic. Groundwater in parts of Argentina, Chile, China, India, Mexico and the U.S. is naturally high in arsenic.
A study found that in 2000, tens of millions of Americans had unsafe levels of arsenic in their tap water. And in June last year, Consumer Reports found high levels of arsenic in many American foods - especially in rice products. Arsenic can absorb into crops from the soil it grows in and water used to grow it.
The effects of arsenic aren't pretty. It damages the nerves, gastrointestinal system, kidneys, livers and immune system. People who drink water with dangerous levels of arsenic are also at risk of diabetes and heart disease. It's also one of the few chemicals that have been definitively linked to cancers, including lung cancer. According to the researchers:
"These results clearly demonstrate significant impairment of lung function associated with lower concentrations than previously reported," Habibul Ahsan said. "Those most affected were older, thinner, less educated and more likely to use tobacco. Many of these people have limited excess lung capacity. It made a significant difference in their lives."
The lung-capacity research team published their work in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Are you considering a career change? If so, you’re hardly alone. In the last few years, a lot of people have found themselves wondering if they could find a more satisfying and higher paying position, but that often requires developing new skills. As you consider your next steps, then, keep your eye on these challenging professional exams. All in growing industries, they’ll take effort to pass, but will open up exciting new doors. Read more
Confidence is essential in our daily life; it has an incredibly positive impact on our mental health, career, relationships, and self-image – to name just a few. When we’re confident, we take more risks, we engage more fruitfully with others and have a better grasp of our self-worth. Read more
Though it may still be winter in Toronto, summer will come roaring in soon with hot temperatures and the need for air conditioning. If a homeowner's air conditioning system is old and not working efficiently, it may be time to replace it. If the home does not have central air conditioning, this may be the year to install a good system. But not all air conditioners are created equal, and there are different systems to select from. Choose a reputable air conditioning service to help. Read more