Addressing Arsenic (NHPR)

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NHPRAs a guest on NHPR’s The Exchange, Bruce Stanton, director of the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program and a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Geisel School of Medicine, talks about the sources of arsenic as well as the effects that exposure to the environmental toxic can have on a person’s health.

“Recent studies, just in the last couple of years, reveal that even those low levels of arsenic in food and water can increase the rate of disease in the U.S. population,” Stanton tells NHPR.

During the interview, Stanton refers to two Dartmouth studies investigating the health effects of arsenic. One study, Stanton explains, found an increase in respiratory infections in infants whose mothers had higher exposure to arsenic in their drinking water while pregnant. Also, Stanton tells NHPR, “We’ve shown in our laboratory that low doses and concentrations affect the ability of the lung to fight off bacterial infections.”

There are ways to reduce exposure to arsenic, says Stanton. “There is arsenic in some rice products, there is arsenic in some juices. … You can be careful about not only remediating the arsenic out of your well water, but you can be careful about the foods you eat.”

Listen to the full story, broadcast 10/24/13 on NHPR.