Document Detail

Separating potential source exposure from background exposure in subsistence populations in developing countries.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12505354     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Risk assessment methods of developed countries have prescribed exposure assumptions for calculating health risks that are generally inappropriate for developing countries because of population, cultural, and social differences. For example, populations in developing countries are often subsistence users of natural resources with a more outdoor-oriented lifestyle. Assessments should thus measure specific dietary intake rates and contact rates with environmental media. Chemical analyses of food, environmental media, and any biomarkers of exposure should include a carefully matched reference population to distinguish between exposures due to naturally occurring metals in more mineralized areas and potential anthropogenic sources. Without a reference group, one might predict excess risk associated with the external source, even though exposure is due to background levels. For example, subsistence populations often have a simple diet with high ingestion rates of a few food types (e.g. 200 g/day wet weight of fish; 500 g/day of rice). These foods can be naturally elevated in arsenic (fish and rice) and mercury (fish). Conservative risk assessments that extrapolate toxicity from high to low doses can predict elevated risks for these naturally occurring elements (e.g. greater than 1 in 10,000 cancer risk for arsenic). Whether the calculated risks are actually indicative of harm to subsistence populations should be considered in light of the beneficial properties of the diet and the lack of alternative food choices.
Joyce S Tsuji; Sue Robinson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Toxicology     Volume:  181-182     ISSN:  0300-483X     ISO Abbreviation:  Toxicology     Publication Date:  2002 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-12-30     Completed Date:  2003-02-28     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0361055     Medline TA:  Toxicology     Country:  Ireland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  467-70     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Arsenic / adverse effects,  analysis
Asia, Southeastern / epidemiology
Data Collection
Developing Countries / statistics & numerical data*
Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
Food Analysis
Mercury / adverse effects,  analysis
Metals / adverse effects
Neoplasms / chemically induced,  epidemiology
Risk Assessment
United States / epidemiology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Metals; 7439-97-6/Mercury; 7440-38-2/Arsenic

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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