Estimating Water Supply Arsenic Levels in the New England Bladder Cancer Study

By Nuckols, John R.; Freeman, Laura E. Beane et al. | Environmental Health Perspectives, September 2011 | Go to article overview

Estimating Water Supply Arsenic Levels in the New England Bladder Cancer Study


Nuckols, John R., Freeman, Laura E. Beane, Lubin, Jay H., Airola, Matthew S., Baris, Dalsu, Ayotte, Joseph D., Taylor, Anne, Paulu, Chris, Karagas, Margaret R., Colt, Joanne, Ward, Mary H., Huang, An-Tsun, Bress, William, Cherala, Sai, Silverman, Debra T., Cantor, Kenneth P., Environmental Health Perspectives


BACKGROUND: Ingestion of inorganic arsenic in drinking water is recognized as a cause of bladder cancer when levels are relatively high ([greater than or equal to] 150 pg/L). The epidemiologic evidence is less clear at the low-to-moderate concentrations typically observed in the United States. Accurate retrospective exposure assessment over a long time period is a major challenge in conducting epidemiologic studies of environmental factors and diseases with long latency, such as cancer.

OBJECTIVE: We estimated arsenic concentrations in the water supplies of 2,611 participants in a population-based case--control study in northern New England.

METHODS: Estimates covered the lifetimes of most study participants and were based on a combination of arsenic measurements at the homes of the participants and statistical modeling of arsenic concentrations in the water supply of both past and current homes. We assigned a residential water supply arsenic concentration for 165,138 (95%) of the total 173,361 lifetime exposure years (EYs) and a workplace water supply arsenic level for 85,195 EYs (86% of reported occupational years).

RESULTS: Three methods accounted for 93% of the residential estimates of arsenic concentration: direct measurement of water samples (27%; median, 0.3 pg/L; range, 0.1-11.5), statistical models of water utility measurement data (49%; median, 0.4 pg/L; range, 0.3--3.3), and statistical models of arsenic concentrations in wells using aquifers in New England (17%; median, 1.6 pg/L; range, 0.6-22.4).

CONCLUSIONS: We used a different validation procedure for each of the three methods, and found our estimated levels to be comparable with available measured concentrations. This methodology allowed us to calculate potential drinking water exposure over long periods.

KEY WORDS: arsenic, environmental epidemiology, exposure assessment, geographic information systems, water quality modeling, water supply. Environ Health Perspect 119:1279-1285 (2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1002345 [Online 21 March 2011]

Ingesting inorganic arsenic in drinking water is recognized as a cause of bladder cancer [International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 2004; Straif et al., 2009; Subcommittee on Arsenic in Drinking Water 1999; Subcommittee to Update the 1999 Arsenic in Drinking Water Report

2001 j. This conclusion is based largely on studies in populations where arsenic levels were relatively high (e.g., [greater than or equal to] 150 [micro]g/L). The epidemiologic evidence is less clear at the low-to-moderate concentrations typically observed in the United States (Baastrup et al. 2008; Bates et al. 1995, 2004; Cantor and Lubin 2007; Karagas et al. 2004; Mink et al. 2008; Steinmaus et al. 2003).

We conducted a population-based case-control study in northern New England [Maine (ME), New Hampshire (NH), Vermont (VT)] in the United States (Baris et al. 2009). Bladder cancer mortality and incidence rates have long been elevated in this region, and the primary objective of the study was to determine the reasons for this excess. Arsenic, found at moderately elevated levels (generally < 100 [micro]g/L) in water supplies in parts of New England, is among several hypotheses under investigation.

Estimating long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking water is a key study element that requires reconstructing residential water supply sources and arsenic concentrations over the lifetime of a person (Marshall et al. 2007). Although we recognize that other sources of arsenic (e.g., dietary intake) might impact cancer risk, this paper describes the methods used to estimate arsenic concentrations in the water supplies at residences and workplaces of the New England Bladder Cancer Study participants over their lifetime.

Materials and Methods

Details of the New England Bladder Cancer Study may be found elsewhere (Baris et al. 2009). In brief, we enrolled 1,193 persons who had been diagnosed with bladder cancer from 2001 through 2004 in ME, NH, or VT; 1,418 controls were randomly selected from state-specific Department of Motor Vehicles records (< 65 years of age) or from the

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ([greater than or equal to] 65 years of age) and frequency matched to cases by state, sex, and age at diagnosis (within 5 years) (Baris et al. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Estimating Water Supply Arsenic Levels in the New England Bladder Cancer Study
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.