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"Urinary arsenic reflects exposures from all routes -- air, water and food -- which makes it difficult to track the actual source of arsenic exposure let alone use the results from this study to establish drinking water standards," Kile said.
Also, the findings raise a chicken-and-egg problem, she said, since it's unknown whether diabetes changes the way people metabolize arsenic. It's possible that people with diabetes excrete more arsenic.
The United States lowered arsenic standards for public water systems to 10 parts per billion in 2001 because of known cancer risks. Compliance was required by 2006, years after the study data were collected in 2003 and 2004.
On the Net:
Arsenic Map: http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/trace/arsenic/
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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