Health Risk Assessment of Oral Exposure to Arsenic

Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society 2015 Annual Meeting
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
September 26, 2015 – September 30, 2015


Arsenic is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant as a naturally occurring substance or as a result of contamination from human activity. It is found in water, air, food, and soil and can occur in organic and/or inorganic forms. Inorganic arsenic is a known human carcinogen at high exposures, affecting mainly skin, lungs, and urinary bladder. Unlike most chemicals of carcinogenic concern for which the relevance to human carcinogenicity is extrapolated from studies of animal species, information on the carcinogenicity of inorganic arsenic is available mostly from human data. Although several epidemiological studies have reported health effects, including cancer, associated with arsenic exposure, the mode of action by which arsenic induces toxic effects is not well characterized. While ingestion of contaminated drinking water remains a major concern for environmental arsenic exposure globally, recent reports also raise concerns for arsenic exposure via foods including rice and apple juice. Recently, the National Research Council, by the request of the US EPA, reviewed critical scientific issues in assessing health risks associated with oral exposure to arsenic including dietary exposure. The US FDA recently proposed the action level for arsenic in apple juice and is currently conducting risk assessment of arsenic in rice. This symposium will explore the current state of science regarding risk assessment of inorganic arsenic as well as challenges for assessing health risk from dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic.


Arsenic in Food: Sources and Issues
Ji-Eun Lee, Kellogg Company

Overview on Mode of Action Implications for Risk from Oral Exposure to Inorganic Arsenic
Samuel M. Cohen, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Critical Scientific Issues in Assessing Health Risk from Oral Exposure to Inorganic Arsenic
Rebecca C. Fry – University of North Carolina

Biologically Based Safety Assessment: Integration of Mode-of-Action Data and Dose-Response Modeling of Human health Endpoints for Arsenic
Harvey J Clewell III, The Hamner Institute for Health Sciences

This session was sponsored by the ILSI North America Food & Chemical Safety Committee.