TitleTesting the Limit: Evaluating Drinking Water Arsenic Regulatory Levels Based on Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes in Bangladesh.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsAndrews, FV, Branscum, AJ, Hystad, P, Smit, E, Afroz, S, Golam, M, Sharif, O, Rahman, M, Quamruzzaman, Q, Christiani, DC, Kile, ML
Date Published10/2022

(1) Background: Arsenic (As) is a common drinking water contaminant that is regulated as a carcinogen. Yet, As is a systemic toxicant and there is considerable epidemiological data showing As adversely impacts reproductive health. This study used data from a birth cohort in Bangladesh (2008-2011) to examine associations between drinking water As levels and reproductive outcomes. (2) Methods: Pregnant individuals ( = 1597) were enrolled at <16 weeks gestation and drinking water As was measured. Participants with live births ( = 1130) were propensity score matched to participants who experienced miscarriage ( = 132), stillbirth ( = 72), preterm birth ( = 243), and neonatal mortality ( = 20). Logistic regression was used to examine drinking water As recommendations of 50, 10, 5, 2.5, and 1 µg/L on the odds of adverse birth outcomes. (3) Results: The odds of miscarriage were higher for pregnant women exposed to drinking water ≥2.5 versus <2.5 µg As/L [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.90, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.07-3.38)]. (4) Conclusions: These preliminary findings suggest a potential threshold where the odds of miscarriage increases when drinking water As is above 2.5 µg/L. This concentration is below the World Health Organizations and Bangladesh's drinking water recommendations and supports the re-evaluation of drinking water regulations.

Alternate JournalToxics
PubMed ID36287880
PubMed Central IDPMC9609177
Grant ListR01ES023441, P42ES016454, and R01ES015533 / ES / NIEHS NIH HHS / United States
TL1TR002371 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States