Journal Article

Measurement of Arsenic Bioavailability in Soil Using a Primate Model

Stephen M. Roberts, William R. Weimar, J. R. T. Vinson, John W. Munson and Raymond J. Bergeron

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 67, issue 2, pages 303-310
Published in print June 2002 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online June 2002 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Measurement of Arsenic Bioavailability in Soil Using a Primate Model

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Several studies have shown limited absorption of arsenic from soils. This has led to increased interest in including measurements of arsenic relative bioavailability from soils in the calculation of risks to human health posed by arsenic-contaminated sites. Most of the information in the literature regarding arsenic bioavailability from soils comes from studies of mining and smelter sites in the western United States. It is unclear whether these observations are relevant to other types of arsenic-contaminated sites. In order to obtain information regarding arsenic bioavailability for other types of sites, relative bioavailability of arsenic from selected soil samples was measured in a primate model. Sodium arsenate was administered to five male Cebus apella monkeys by the intravenous and oral routes, and blood, urine, and feces were collected. Pharmacokinetic behavior of arsenic after intravenous administration and the fractions of dose excreted in urine and feces after both intravenous and oral doses were consistent with previous observations in humans. Soil samples from five waste sites in Florida (one from an electrical substation, one from a wood preservative treatment site, two from pesticide sites, and one from a cattle-dip vat site) were dried and sieved. Soil doses were prepared from these samples and administered orally to the monkeys. Relative bioavailability was assessed based on urinary excretion of arsenic following the soil dose compared with excretion following an oral dose of arsenic in solution. Differences in bioavailability were observed for different sites, with relative bioavailability ranging from 10.7 ± 4.9% (mean ± standard deviation) to 24.7 ± 3.2% for the five soil samples. These observations, coupled with data in the literature, suggest limited oral bioavailability of arsenic in soils from a variety of types of arsenic-contaminated sites.

Keywords: arsenic; bioavailability; intestinal absorption; primate model; soil; urinary excretion

Journal Article.  7467 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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