Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Telltale Toenails: Dartmouth Study Finds That Arsenic Inhibits DNA Repair

Date:
May 27, 2006
Source:
Dartmouth College
Summary:
Dartmouth researchers, working with scientists at the University of Arizona and at the Department of Natural Resources in Sonora, Mexico, are investigating the impact of arsenic exposure on DNA damage, using samples of urine and toenails of people who were enrolled in epidemiologic studies.

Authors of the study, from left to right: Eugene Demidenko, Angeline Andrew, Joshua Hamilton, Margaret Karagas, all at Dartmouth.
Credit: Photo by Joseph Mehling

Dartmouth researchers, working with scientists at the University of Arizona and at the Department of Natural Resources in Sonora, Mexico, have published a study on the impact of arsenic exposure on DNA damage. They have determined that arsenic in drinking water is associated with a decrease in the body's ability to repair its DNA.

Related Articles


"This work supports the idea that arsenic in drinking water can promote the carcinogenic effects of other chemicals," says Angeline Andrew, the lead author and a research assistant professor of community and family medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. "This is evidence that it's more important than ever to keep arsenic out of drinking water."

The study, which was published online on May 10, 2006, in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, examined the drinking water and measured the arsenic levels in samples of urine and toenails of people who were enrolled in epidemiologic studies in New Hampshire, and in Sonora, Mexico.

Andrew and her colleagues examined the data in conjunction with tissue samples from the study participants to determine the effect of arsenic on DNA repair. To further corroborate their findings, the researchers conducted laboratory studies to examine the effects of arsenic on DNA repair in cultured human cell models.

"The DNA repair machinery normally protects us from DNA-damaging agents, such as those found in cigarette smoke," says Andrew. "The concern is that exposure to drinking water arsenic may exacerbate the harmful effects of smoking or other exposures."

Andrew explains that in regions of the United States where the rock contains higher levels of arsenic, the greater the likelihood that drinking water sources contain some potential adverse levels of the toxin. While the levels of arsenic in municipal water systems are regularly monitored, there is no mandated testing of arsenic levels in private wells. This is of particular concern since the regions where arsenic levels are high are in rural regions, such as New Hampshire, Maine, Michigan and some regions of the Southwest and Rockies. Private wells are common in these areas as primary sources of drinking water.

(More information on drinking water testing and remediation options can be found from the NH Department of Environmental Services: http://www.des.state.nh.us/ws.htm or the US Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/drinkwater/private_well_owners.html)

Andrew's co-authors on this paper are: Jefferey Burgess, Maria Meza, Eugene Demidenko, Mary Waugh, Joshua Hamilton, and Margaret Karagas, all from Dartmouth Medical School, the Department of Environmental and Community Health at the University of Arizona, or the Department of Natural Resources at the Technological Institute of Sonora, Mexico.

The research was supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Cancer Institute, the Dartmouth and Arizona Superfund Programs, and the American Society of Preventive Oncology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Dartmouth College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Dartmouth College. "Telltale Toenails: Dartmouth Study Finds That Arsenic Inhibits DNA Repair." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 May 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060527094029.htm>.
Dartmouth College. (2006, May 27). Telltale Toenails: Dartmouth Study Finds That Arsenic Inhibits DNA Repair. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060527094029.htm
Dartmouth College. "Telltale Toenails: Dartmouth Study Finds That Arsenic Inhibits DNA Repair." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/05/060527094029.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins