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Lower Birth weight due to drinking water contaminated with arsenic


According to new research “Arsenic in drinking water and adverse birth outcomes in Ohio” higher the concentration of Arsenic in drinking water lower the birth weight.

Arsenic is the 20th most common element in the Earth’s crust and is a naturally occurring water contaminant in many regions of the world. Human being interacts directly with Arsenic through drinking water contaminated with the Arsenic.
The Carcinogenic effect of the Arsenic is well known but there is very less known about its impact on the fetal development. By this research, the researcher found many new things which are less known before.

Effect of the Arsenic contaminated water on fetal development found in this research

1. Lower Birth Weight
2. Preterm Birth
In the study Term, LBW was defined as an infant weighing < 2500 g at time of delivery among term infants (≥37 weeks gestation). An infant was considered VLBW if it weighed < 1500 g at time of delivery, regardless of gestational age. Preterm and very preterm births were defined as infants delivered prior to 37 and 32 weeks gestation, respectively. Gestational age was based on the reported last normal menstrual period (LMP).
This study used birth certificate data (from the 2003 revision of the U.S. Certificate of Live Birth) for births occurring in the state of Ohio between 2006 and 2008.

Finding in the Research

  • Anemia during pregnancy has been found to be associated with low birthweight and preterm delivery identified a target gene for arsenic which may lead to functional impairment of the placenta, thereby affecting fetal growth and leading to reduced birth weight.
  • A significant association between arsenic concentration in drinking water and adverse birth outcome.
  • The risk of lower birth weight and preterm birth increased as the contamination of water with Arsenic increase.
  • The main mechanism why lower birth rate due to Arsenic interaction with pregnant women is not found.

This is the complete summary of Research Paper: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2017.05.010



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