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Risk Analysis of Acute Or Chronic Exposure to Arsenic of the Inhabitants in a District of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 4, Issue 3, September 2016, pp 234-241
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.2016.04.0019
Cristina Vázquez, María C. Rodríguez Castro, Oscar Palacios, Susana P. Boeykens
Laboratorio de Química de Sistemas Heterogéneos, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Paseo Colón 850, C1063ACU-Buenos Aires, Argentina


The arsenic occurrence in the water constitutes a serious world health concern due to its toxicity. Depending on the intensity and duration of exposure, this element can be acutely lethal or may have a wide range of health effects in humans and animals. In Argentina, the origin of arsenic is mainly natural, and related to different geological processes. The Argentinean concern about arsenic and its influence on human health dates back to the previous century. The disease ascribed to arsenic contamination was called ‘chronic regional endemic hydroarsenism’. It is produced by the consumption of water with high levels of this element. In our study, we focused in La Matanza district, a very populated site in the Buenos Aires Province. An increasing concern of the inhabitants of the area regarding health problems was detected. In order to establish a full view of arsenic exposure in the area, several matrices and targets were analyzed. As matrices, water and soil samples were analyzed. As targets, canine and human hair was studied. The aim of this study was to investigate acute and chronic exposure to arsenic of La Matanza inhabitants.

Keywords: Arsenic, Water contamination, Human hair, Canine hair, Chronic regional endemic hydroarsenism.

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