Arsenic in Food: From Soil to Plate to Policy

Friday, February 17, 2017: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Room 206 (Hynes Convention Center)
This session explores the interface between the state of knowledge about an emerging source of environmental agent exposure and the need to provide the best scientific information to policymakers to protect the public. Diet has become an important known route of arsenic exposure, particularly for those who consume rice and rice products. Speakers will address how arsenic is taken up from soil and water by food crops, patterns of dietary exposure, emerging health outcomes, and the challenges of translating this research into public health policy. Current arsenic policy and regulations focus on exposure through drinking water, due to the high levels of arsenic in groundwater in certain regions of the world. However, recent studies have shown that for many people, food can be a larger source of arsenic exposure than water. Thus, epidemiological studies are increasingly considering the effects of dietary arsenic exposures. Addressing this issue requires collaboration across scientific disciplines, from soil scientists and plant geneticists to toxicologists and epidemiologists. There are no comprehensive or universal regulations for arsenic in food to date, but the potential for cumulative exposure to arsenic from food and water around the globe is significant. This session discusses the current state of emerging science and future research needs, demonstrating the ways in which this science can be of value to society.
Mary Lou Guerinot, Dartmouth College
Laurie Rardin, Geisel School of Medicine
Margaret Karagas, Geisel School of Medicine
Human Arsenic Exposure Through Food: Potential Health Consequences
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