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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Malapropos Risk Assessment of Some Supposedly Hazardous Mineral Elements Could Have Detrimental Economic and Health Consequences

Authors
item Nielsen, Forrest
item Uthus, Eric
item Gao, Junquan - PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA
item Yokoi, Katsuhiko

Submitted to: Great Lakes Regional American Chemical Society Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 20, 2000
Publication Date: June 2, 2000
Citation: Nielsen, F.H., Uthus, E.O., Gao, J., Yokoi, K. 2000. Malapropos risk assessment of some supposedly hazardous mineral elements could have detrimental economic and health consequences [abstract]. 32nd Great Lakes 2000 Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society Abstracts of Presentations. p.17.

Interpretive Summary: Arsenic and nickel receive considerable attention as elements of toxicological concern; arsenic has been labeled a human carcinogen and nickel is best known as an allergen in the clinical setting. Experiments performed in our laboratory indicate that these elements in low amounts have beneficial, if not essential, actions in higher animals and most likely in humans. Animals fed deficient arsenic exhibit changes in plasm homocysteine, liver S-adenosylmethionine, and tissue molybdenum concentrations which suggest that arsenic nutritionally affects sulfur amino acid or methyl metabolism. Nickel deprivation of rats affects the metabolism of pyridoxine and homocysteine; pyridoxine deficiency and high circulating homocysteine have been associated with ischemic heart disease. Risk assessments of arsenic and nickel need to consider the possibility of setting exposure limits too low, resulting in unnecessary expenditure of public funds to meet these limits and in possible detrimental consequence to health caused by the removal of these elements from sources that would help achieve beneficial intakes.

Technical Abstract: Arsenic and nickel receive considerable attention as elements of toxicological concern; arsenic has been labeled a human carcinogen and nickel is best known as an allergen in the clinical setting. Experiments performed in our laboratory indicate that these elements in low amounts have beneficial, if not essential, actions in higher animals and most likely in humans. Animals fed deficient arsenic exhibit changes in plasma homocysteine, liver S-adenosylmethionine, and tissue molybdenum concentrations which suggest that arsenic nutritionally affects sulfur amino acid or methyl metabolism. Nickel deprivation of rats affects the metabolism of pyridoxine and homocysteine; pyridoxine deficiency and high circulating homocysteine have been associated with ischemic heart disease. Risk assessments of arsenic and nickel need to consider the possibility of setting exposure limits too low, resulting in unnecessary expenditure of public funds to meet these limits and in possible detrimental consequence to health caused by the removal of these elements from sources that would help achieve beneficial intakes.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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