Light micrograph of arsenic crystals

Arsenic Collection

Arsenic is a major toxicant and carcinogen affecting multiple organs and systems. Millions of people worldwide, including 4 million in the United States, drink water that exceeds the World Health Organizational provisional guideline and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standard for arsenic. Many more millions around the world are exposed to lower levels through drinking water and food.

Researchers, trainees, and public health practitioners are working to advance our understanding of the health effects of arsenic and identify effective interventions. This collection presents a selection of high-impact articles published in Environmental Health Perspectives on the prevalence of arsenic exposure, its toxicity, the complex mechanisms involved, and the implications for society and communities.

Ana Navas-Acien, MD, PhD
Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Columbia University
Director, Columbia University Superfund Research Program
Associate Editor, Environmental Health Perspectives

Highly Cited Original Research

Increased Mortality from Lung Cancer and Bronchiectasis in Young Adults after Exposure to Arsenic in Utero and In Early Childhood (2006)

Water Arsenic Exposure and Children’s Intellectual Function in Araihazar, Bangladesh (2004)

Arsenic Groundwater Contamination in Middle Ganga Plain, Bihar, India: A Future Danger? (2003)

Groundwater Arsenic Contamination in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India (2000)

Risk of Internal Cancers from Arsenic in Drinking Water (2000)

Highly Cited Reviews

The Broad Scope of Health Effects from Chronic Arsenic Exposure: Update on a Worldwide Public Health Problem (2013)

Role of Environmental Chemicals in Diabetes and Obesity: A National Toxicology Program Workshop Review (2012)

Evaluation of the Association between Arsenic and Diabetes: A National Toxicology Program Workshop Review (2012)

Household Air Pollution from Coal and Biomass Fuels in China: Measurements, Health Impacts, and Interventions (2007)

Cancer Risks from Arsenic in Drinking Water (1992)

Feature Articles

In Search of “Just Right”: The Challenge of Regulating Arsenic in Rice (2015)
Arsenic levels in rice vary widely, depending on the type of rice and where it was grown. That raises difficult questions about monitoring and enforcing a standard.

Low-dose Arsenic: In Search of a Risk Threshold (2014)
Protecting against low-level arsenic exposure is challenging, given the ubiquity of this metalloid in the environment. And the evidence for low-dose effects is far from settled.

Last updated on 25 January 2019

Also of Note

Inorganic Arsenic-related Changes in the Stromal Tumor Microenvironment in a Prostate Cancer Cell-conditioned Media Model (2016)

Related Science Selection:
Stroma Insights: Potential Mechanism for Arsenic-induced Prostate Cancer

Mechanisms Underlying Latent Disease Risk Associated with Early-life Arsenic Exposure: Current Research Trends and Scientific Gaps (2016)

Related Science Selection:
Arsenic and Latent Disease Risk: What's the Mechanism of Action?

Estimated Exposure to Arsenic in Breastfed and Formula-fed Infants in a United States Cohort (2015)

Related Science Selection:
Arsenic Exposure in Infancy: Estimating the Contributions of Well Water and Human Milk

Gene-specific Differential DNA Methylation and Chronic Arsenic Exposure in an Epigenome-wide Association Study of Adults in Bangladesh (2015)

Related Science Selection:
Arsenic and Blood Pressure: A Long-term Relationship

Low-dose Arsenic Compromises the Immune Response to Influenza A Infection in Vivo (2009)

Related Podcast:
Arsenic and Immune Response to Influenza: Implications for Human Health, with Josh Hamilton

Arsenic-transformed Malignant Prostate Epithelia Can Convert Noncontiguous Normal Stem Cells into an Oncogenic Phenotype (2012)


Arsenic and Obesity: A Compound Risk Factor for Diabetes? (2019)
Mirek Stýblo discusses his recent work exploring the role that diet plays not just in arsenic metabolism but also in the diabetogenic effects of arsenic.

Bite of Arsenic, with Kathryn Cottingham (2012)
Kathryn Cottingham discusses her market-basket study of products containing brown rice syrup and other rice-based ingredients.