Arsenic and cancer induction in Cordoba eastern (Argentina)
Lerda, Daniel Enrique
Arsenic and its compounds in water have repeteadly been observed worldwide. Arsenic mayappear in water either due to natural causes or as a by product of human activities. Natural causes include: soil erosion, surface rocks and volcanic areas formed during the pre-Andes pre-Rocky Montains period (as far as South and North America are concerned), a fact wich explains why the same As-related problems has been detected in Argentina, Chile (Antofagasta) (1), Oregon (2), and Alaska (3). Several areas of Argentina have had high exposures to arsenic from naturally contaminated drinking water, with well documented occurrence of typical skin alterations caused by arsenic, including skin cancer. Recent evidence indicates that consumption of water with elevated levels of In-As is also associated with increased rates of internal cancers, particularly lung, liver, bladder, prostate and kidney cancers (4-6). The eastern region of the province of Cordoba has been the most widely affected and in this chapter are summarized the studys in an endemic area of Argentina, where for over 70 years the population consumed artesian well water contaminated with arsenic, have shown a clear dose-response relationship between arsenic and internal cancers. The magnitude of these risks places In-As as one of the highest potential environmental risk factors, comparable to radon in homes and environmental tobacco smoke (7).